Photo via Pew Climate
That's the optimistic opinion put forth by Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi--she issued that statement as Congress set about the "mother of all climate weeks" to debate revolutionary climate and energy legislation that could potentially land the US a cap and trade system to cut nationwide carbon emissions. Could she be right? Could the US government get a major plan to curb greenhouse gases passed by next Earth Day?At this point, it's incredibly hard to say--it's going to be a long road until the next Earth Day when it comes to climate legislation. Politico took the question to its Arena--a forum where political players and pundits weigh in on current issues. Here's a sampling of the political mood towards climate legislation.
The leading quote, from Gary L. Bauer, the president of American Values, isn't encouraging:
With more and more credible, influential scientific minds concluding that climate change is not a significant issue and that man is not the cause of the temperature fluctuations that occur, it is only left wing ideology that inspires this kind of legislative foolishness.
Democratic writer David Biespiel is hopeful, but not convinced:
I share Speaker Pelosi's enthusiasm but not her optimism. The U.S Senate isn't known as the saucer that cools the cup for nothing.
Grover Norquist, the notorious Republican president of Americans for Tax Reform, says this:
What is legislation to combat global warming? It looks suspiciously like the same list of ideas that Time magazine demanded in June 1974 with its cover story about Global Cooling. Will Pelosi and Obama and Reid make the sun stop having sun spots? And what about all those warming and cooling trends that gave us Ice Ages? What laws are they going to pass to fix those? Scientists who plan to pass laws to regulate the temperature are akin to politicians who take our money and spend it themselves.
Scott Paul, the Director of the Alliance for American Manufacturing, sees it differently:
I do think we'll see climate change legislation if Congress and the Obama Administration recognize the global challenge of regulating greenhouse gas emissions, since global warming knows no borders.
Finally, let's end with a nod to Earth Day, from Daily Kos editor Greg Dworkin:
One billion people in 175 countries will mark Earth Day. That puts tea parties in perspective, doesn’t it?
Indeed. Here's to green gaining momentum, and a prospect of celebrating next Earth Day with nationwide greenhouse gas regulations.
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