Friday, February 03, 2006

Senators Seek Stricter Global Warming Curbs

New Mexico senators Pete Dominici (R) and Jeff Bingaman (D) have initiated a path that they hope will lead to the US' "first mandatory program for trading greenhouse gases in the marketplace. " According to the story, the report is

an attempt to make a reality of a nonbinding resolution the Senate passed
last year. It called for "mandatory, market-based limits and incentives" on
emissions of carbon dioxide, methane and other gases from fossil fuel burning
that warm the atmosphere like a greenhouse.

I'm not certain that "mandatory" and "market-based" are concepts that can coexist peacefully, but we'll see on that. I suppose that it might be akin to the deregulated, market-based electrical supply in Maine.

Also according to the story, Oklahoma Republican Sen. James Inhofe opposes the idea of limiting emissions, but did it in a cowardly manner. Instead of coming out and admitting that he doesn't care about the environment, he said "that the Environment and Public Works Committee he chairs has jurisdiction over legislative action on climate change and emissions."

That's it, it's not that it's a bad concept, it's just the wrong process.

Industry also doesn't support the measure, but it sounds like some may be waking up an smelling the coffee:

Dan Riedinger, a spokesman for the Edison Electric Institute, said the utilities he represents continue to favor voluntary approaches. But he added that the senators' report "raises many good questions about the possible design of a mandatory scheme for reducing greenhouse gases. Of course, there are no easy answers."

It's nice to see someone in Washington (a Republican even!) admit that there is a problem and take action to address it. It's a far cry from our Fearsome Leader, who begrudgingly admits that the US has a problem with foreign oil. Bush, however, insists that new technology and domestic sources of fuel will solve the problem. We need to educate Americans about the benefit of saving oil (and other fuels), not finding replacements. Finding new fossil fuels, for one thing, doesn't address the global warming issue, it just finds a new source for the same problem.

Conservation and the implementation of sustainable, renewable energy sources, starting today, is the direction that we need to go in. We also would benefit from renewing the forests that are so instrumental in mitigating the carbon in the atmosphere. Carbon offsets (which appears to be part of the plan from the New Mexico senators) is a topic that I will be exploring in a future entry to this blog.

Baby steps, when we need giant steps, but it's better than no steps at all.


Blogger Rikki said...

Little late in commenting here, but I only now found your blog ...

Sen. Inhofe surreptitiously blocking the way to global warming regulation .... I find that truly hard to believe. This is the guy for whom the phrase "quid pro quo" is translated from the original Latin to mean "free money from the non-renewable energy industry."

And this isn't the first GHG emissions trading program sponsored/authored by a Republican .... Joe Lieberman authored the McCain-Lieberman Climate Change Yadda Yadda Act of 2004, which ... you might not believe this ... got hung up in Inhofe's committee.

Or something.

What a drag! But nice to find your Maine/Enviro-smart blog nonetheless.

11:24 PM  

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