Global environmental challenges
Climate bill treads on thin ice
Supporters of a climate bill to cap and price greenhouse gases are losing hope that it will make it into law. But for many, the fight is far from over.
Topping the list of supporters of some form of the bill is President Obama. In his first State of the Union address, he focused on the bill’s potential to fuel a domestic clean tech industry lush with jobs, and said he still supported the bipartisan effort on the climate and energy bill, which would incorporate energy policies favored by Republicans.
On Thursday, echoes of commitment came from a group of senators including John Kerry, who said they were looking at possible alternatives to the cap-and-trade plan for reducing carbon dioxide emissions. “People need to relax and look at all the ways you might price carbon. We’re not pinned down to one approach,” Kerry told Reuters.
Senator Lindsey Graham supplied Climate Progress with their quote of the week: “The idea of not pricing carbon, in my view, means you’re not serious about energy independence. The odd thing is you’ll never have energy independence until you clean up the air, and you’ll never clean up the air until you price carbon.”
And the New York Times last week published their editorial on the case for a climate bill, weighing in favor of the cap and trade system. “The only sure way to unlock the investments required to transform the way the country produces and delivers energy is to put a price on carbon.”
Of course, there are vocal opponents .
Business executives and policy officials at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, said a U.S. cap and trade scheme must give way to a clean energy law. Tom Donahue, President of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, said: “We are in search of a solid domestic bill, whether its cap and trade or cap and carbon tax or however these things are put together. We just don’t want a bill like the one that came out of the House.”
Just last week, Senator Byron Dorgan, told reporters in a telephone conference call he doubted the Senate would pass climate change legislation this year after going through the contentious health care debate.
What do you think? Does the bill in its current format stand a chance?
Photo shows a couple walking on the snow in Central Park in New York, February 22, 2008. REUTERS/Keith Bedford