Newspaper article The Christian Science Monitor

In Congress, a Raft of 'Fix It' Ideas

Newspaper article The Christian Science Monitor

In Congress, a Raft of 'Fix It' Ideas

Article excerpt

When she became House speaker in January, Democrat Nancy Pelosi pledged to put forth "energy independence" legislation no later than the Fourth of July. The idea was to cut American dependence on foreign oil while reducing the harmful climate-change effects scientists say result from burning fossil fuels.

Democrats control both the House and Senate, but that doesn't mean there's unanimity about what such legislation should include. Still, Speaker Pelosi's package, which creates incentives to produce biofuels and boost energy efficiency while cutting $16 billion in tax breaks for oil and gas drilling, marks a departure from past policies. The San Francisco Chronicle calls it "a tectonic shift in the energy priorities in Congress":"The Democratic package ... breaks from past ... energy legislation, which focused heavily on oil, gas, nuclear, and coal production. The new legislation is all about conservation and renewable energy."

In the Senate, John Warner (R) of Virginia and Joseph Lieberman (I) of Connecticut drafted a bill to cap emissions and allow polluters to trade credits as a way to limit greenhouse gases. Senator Warner's move means "the campaign to curb global warming gained a formidable Senate supporter," reports Congressional Quarterly online:"Warner has long been viewed as a pivotal player in the debate over restricting emissions. He joins John McCain of Arizona and Arlen Specter of Pennsylvania as the third GOP senator to cosponsor carbon-cutting climate-change legislation."

While some lawmakers may be uniting on energy and climate-change policy, tough negotiations lie ahead.

Higher fuel-efficiency standards for cars and trucks remain one contentious issue. A key player is Rep. John Dingell (D) of Michigan, who chairs the House Energy and Commerce Committee, The Washington Post reported last week."[Mr.] Dingell, a longtime opponent of higher mileage requirements and an ally of the automobile industry, wants to make auto fuel usage part of a broad climate change bill later in the year. But the chances of getting a complex climate change bill through Congress and then President Bush signing it are much more remote than adopting a more modest energy bill. …

Search by... Author
Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

Oops!

An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.