Wednesday, April 01, 2009

Congress gets serious about climate change, & we're left to ponder the future

Cue crowd noise. Cue the smell of the track. Cue sweat-dampened betting slips, clutched in our hands as we pray mightily that we might actually beat the fat cats and win for a change. Cue jockeys. Cue horses... The Climate Change Derby is off and running in Washington, DC!

The question, of course, is whether or not the legislative shenanigans that began in Congress this week will actually make any progress in limiting greenhouse gas emissions. Settle in. This is going to be a long race. Here are some first takes on what this all means.

Time reports on who did what to whom on Tuesday.
The House produced a long-awaited bill to regulate 85% of U.S. greenhouse-gas emissions, anteing up for what promises to be long, high-stakes negotiations with the Senate and business groups alarmed at the $1 trillion price tag that some estimate such an effort could entail. The effects of the already intense lobbying were felt across the Capitol, where the Senate the same afternoon passed by an overwhelming margin an amendment resolving that any energy legislation should not increase electricity or gas prices. As it stands now, energy-price hikes are unavoidable under most of the climate-change plans swirling around Congress, including the draft introduced Tuesday by House Committee on Energy and Commerce Chairman Henry Waxman and Representative Ed Markey, chairman of the Subcommittee on Energy and Environment.
Time says the bill isn't expected to pass as it stands, but it might well give the Obama Administration cover for its more modest proposal.

Joe Romm gives the Waxman-Markey Bill a B+, which is high praise from the notoriously stern environmentalist.

Kevin Drum says he's a pessimist.
My reservations aside, this bill is the best thing we've seen on the energy front in a long, long time. I just wish it were even better, that's all. A guy can dream, can't he?

1 comment:

Toronto Real Estate said...

Oh Mr. Gore, what have you done. The never ending streak of pointless precautions and bills that are being passed will probably never end. Millions (if not billions) will be thrown out to prevent the catastrophic Global warming but nobody realizes that it's not happening any more and if it ever was than it was a pure act of nature. Another climate change. They've been happening for thousands of years. Suddenly, this one needs to be our fault...hmm...

Take care, Elli