Thursday, January 14, 2010

Crocodile Tears

The battle is joined on Senator Lisa Murkowski's shameful attempt to gut the Clean Air Act:
Senior Democrats including the bill's co-author Barbara Boxer quickly rallied to support the EPA, issuing a letter criticising Murkowski's amendment. " Debating policy choices regarding the appropriate response to unchecked climate change is fair, and the Senate will continue to evaluate the best tools for addressing greenhouse gas emissions," the letter said. "But repealing an endangerment finding based upon years of work by America's scientists and public health experts is not appropriate."

Said Murkowski:
I do not believe, and I don't believe that most of my colleagues in the Senate believe, that the EPA is the entity that is the best suited to develop climate change policy for this country. I'm trying to get a time-out. I'm trying to allow the legislative process to proceed. I'm hopeful that we'll be able to have a vote that will allow for that discussion.
If she's serious, it's welcome news. Senator, can we put you down as a Republican who will not filibuster an attempt to have that discussion? Perhaps you can persuade some of your GOP colleagues to do the same, and engage in a good-faith effort to pass legislation? It's worth recalling that the only reason the EPA has taken this step is the bellicose intransigence on this issue by your party. Lead, follow, or get out of the way.

Those of us not in the Senate can email them quickly and urge action, rather than delay. And here's a really easy email form you can use to send a letter to the editor of all of your local and selected national press. Please write--senators need to hear from more than the lobbyists:
In related news, US Chamber of Commerce President Tom Donohue waded into the row yesterday, hinting that the business group may sue the EPA over its decision. "It is simple to say we will not stand still and let the endangerment finding, as narrow as it was intended to be, stand," Donohue told reporters.
That the USCOC is not a general "business group" is amply shown by how selective it is in the commerce interests it represents. Recent defections and outright deception suggest it has become captive of narrow, parochial interests that represent not US businesses or international businesses but the views of a dirty minority. The unpopularity of their stance has made them thin-skinned and defensive. The Chamber is an anachronism; businesses that will help create a better future want action on climate change.

Senators need to start listening to the voters.
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