Tuesday, January 29, 2008

Bipartisan pressure on Washington

A Republican governor and Democrat governor are teaming up to press Congress to pass the Lieberman/Warner bill, which legislates cuts in greenhouse gas emissions. Environmental Defense enlisted Tim Pawlenty, the Republican governor from Minnesota (the state's two senators both signed on a sponsors of the bill), and Arizona's Democrat governor, Janet Napolitano, for a series of radio ads. It's hard to guess what sort of impact this might have, but it shows the stakes and fractured alliances.

Both Arizona and Minnesota have been in the lead with climate change legislation, and both realize regional solutions are merely placeholders -- just temporary measures while everyone waits for Washington to get involved.

Apparently, the ads focus on the cost to the U.S. economy of not acting now on climate change. They push the point that the United States will lag further behind Europe if Washington can't come up with some sort of law this year to cut emissions.

Meanwhile, President George W. Bush convenes his climate talks with the world's big polluters in Hawaii on Wednesday. He'll try to push the idea of using technology to beat carbon, pushing to open markets for U.S. science to cut emissions in India and China. The longer he waits, the more he risks that those "technology transfers" he craves will clear the way not for U.S. gadgetry, but European expertise.

No comments: