'Tis the season for climate change change
The big news just keeps on coming. Yesterday, a handful of US senators – the 19 sitting on the Environment and Public Works senate committee to be exact – passed climate change legislation of historic proportions. They approved the “Climate Security Act,” a bill that would significantly limit America’s emissions of greenhouse gases.
It’s the first time a broad-ranging piece of legislation aimed at mitigating climate change has passed out of committee in Congress. Barbara Boxer, chairwoman of the committee, said about the vote, “For me, it was the greatest legislative accomplishment of my political career of thirty years. Finally, America is taking bold steps to avert the catastrophe that awaits our children and grandchildren if we do nothing."
The committee voted 11 to 8, along party lines, in favor of a nationwide carbon trading scheme that will reduce greenhouse gas emissions to roughly 70 percent below 2005 levels by 2050. Through “carbon credits” that will be both given away and auctioned, the system is suppose to financially reward businesses that reduce their output of CO2 and charge a price to those who don’t. Criticisms of the bill range from stating it’s not strong enough to fear it will destroy the US economy.
It’s a big step. And many more big steps and debates lie ahead. (Next, all 100 senators will discuss the bill, and while no date has been set, it will probably be early 2008.) But today our elected officials deserve a pat on the back for moving the conversation forward.
(We’ll return to our routine call for hinny “pats” in no time.)
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