In a weird turn of events, House Speaker Pelosi has been forced to put a stop to global warming legislation being worked on by the House Energy and Commerce Committee. Apparently, Representatives Rick Boucher (D-Virginia) and John Dingell (D-Michigan) were crafting legislation that would have kept the EPA from granting to the Clean Air Act for states that want to restrict greenhouse gasses more than the federal limits. (See the SFChron story)
Given that Rep. Boucher is considered a good friend to the coal industry and Rep. Dingell represents a Detroit district, their interest in protecting their corporate donors and, frankly, the jobs of people in their districts, is totally understandable. California’s recent anti-global heating legislation is viewed by the energy and transportation industries as a huge problem since California is such a major economy, and since 11 other states use California’s clean air regulations in place of the federal government’s. But global heating is such a major issue that, if any state is willing to make more stringent cuts than the federal government requires, we should be cheering this, not restricting it.
Furthermore, states willing to go out on a limb as a laboratory for global heating solutions should be encouraged to do so. After all, addressing global heating will take a massive committment at the federal, state, local, and individual levels, and permitting California and the other states to develop multiple solutions will only benefit the country over the long run.
Yes, it’s a headache for auto makers, but it’s time to suck it up and deal. There are more important things than profit. And to Reps. Dingell and Boucher, I also say that there are more important things than campaign donations.