The Dernogalizer

May 23, 2009

What a Week

This has by my account been a very good week for the environmental movement.  First fuel economy standards were toughened by the Obama administration.  Then, a story  broke about how the US and China were closing in on a climate deal between the two, just in time for Copenhagen.  Finally, the Waxman-Markey climate bill passed out of the Energy and Commerce Committee, which was quite a hurdle.  Now obviously there is still a whole lot to be accomplished.  While the new fuel economy standards are welcome, they could certainly be higher.  While the US and China and closing in on a deal, how good of a deal that will be, and whether or not it’s reached before the end of the year remains to be seen.  The climate bill has gotten one obstacle out of the way, but it still has many more to go, and it could definitely be stronger.  However, it’s important we take note of good things when they happen.  The editorial in the NY Times today does just that.  Some notable excerpts are posted below.

For anyone eager to see the United States take a serious leadership role on the issue of global warming, this week was enormously encouraging.”

“In fairly short order, President Obama and a Democratically controlled Congress have made the lassitude and indifference of the Bush years seem like ancient history. And they have greatly improved the prospects that American negotiators will arrive at the next round of global climate negotiations in Copenhagen with a credible strategy in hand and with the leverage to encourage other major emitters like China to get cracking.”

“Critics says these and other provisions are too generous to polluters, and in truth the bill is not as strong as it should be. But anything more might well fail, as other bills have failed, and then the country would be back to Square 1. As it is, the bill represents an ambitious first step toward a solution too long delayed for a problem too long denied.”

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