Photo via the Political Elite
Yesterday I noted that though it would likely to be a pretty tough slog, there are still a number of factors working in favor of the bipartisan effort to bring about clean energy reform. Key among those factors was momentum--Democrats, after all, scored a major victory with the passage of health care reform. Fresh on the heels of the bill's passage, 22 moderate and progressive senators have drafted a letter specifically petitioning Majority Leader Harry Reid to take up the cause of clean energy reform this year. Here's the beginning, and the MO of the letter, which you can read in full over at Climate Progress:
Representing a diverse group of States and regions, we believe the United States should consider bipartisan and comprehensive clean energy and climate legislation this year with a renewed focus on jobs and reduced dependance on foreign oil.As CP's Joe Romm points out, among the good news of this move is the fact that 6 of the senators (all of which are Democrats) that signed the petition were previously considered 'fence sitters' and their support for clean energy reform was largely up in the air--but this petition signals that those 6 can be counted as in favor of at least pursuing legislation.
Our lack of a comprehensive clean energy policy hurts job creation and increases regulatory uncertainty throughout our economy. Businesses are waiting on clear signals from Congress before investing billions in energy, transportation, manufacturing, buildings, and other sectors. America's competitiveness and export strength are also at stake. Asia and Europe are moving aggressively to take the lead in efficiency, renewables, clean coal, batteries, nuclear energy and other technologies. We need to take action in order to lead the emerging sectors that will drive our economic recovery
There were, not too long ago, a full 67 senators considered "in play" for the legislation--many of them Republicans. This is important, because there are a handful of Democratic senators who are as stern in voicing their opposition as many Republicans. This letter indeed marks a positive step forward in what could yet be a march towards capping carbon pollution and enacting clean energy reform.