Thursday, June 14, 2007

The Senate is moving
energy legislation that
undermines
current and future efforts
to save the planet.
Fuel Efficiency Standards: Though better than nothing, the Senate bill sets a weak car and light-truck fuel economy standard for the year 2020 -- only 35mpg. But thanks to big loopholes, even this less-than-ambitious standard will be easy to duck. (The Democrats' House bill contains standards weaker than those in proposals President Bush has advanced! More on this in alerts to come.)
Stripping EPA's Power to Regulate: Stunningly, the current Senate legislation would, in effect, overturn April's landmark Supreme Court ruling by stripping the EPA of powers to regulate greenhouse gas emissions from cars and trucks! While the Bush administration's EPA is no model of environmental protection, why on Earth would Democrats seek to hobble the next president's ability to limit global warming emissions from vehicles?
Coal to Liquid: A group of Democratic senators from coal-producing states are pushing an amendment to the bill that would encourage "liquid coal" technology. If adopted, this would turn bad legislation into an ecological nightmare. Leaving aside the environmental damage done by getting coal out of the ground, the process of creating and burning liquid coal fuel in our vehicles would result in more than double the greenhouse gas emissions from old fashion gasoline!
Our planet is already changing. In areas around the world, global warming is producing longer droughts, changing river patters, stronger storms, erratic growing seasons, and on, and on.
If this new Congress is permitted to pass the buck on to next generations in return for short-term political gain, we are in real trouble.
We must take on congressional timidity -
and the Senate is where we need to start:

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As Jim Hightower explains it, is that “the wealthiest 1 percent of Americans possess more net worth today than the bottom 90 percent of us combined. Worse, these privileged few and their political henchmen have structured a new economic ‘normal’ of long-term joblessness, low wages, no benefits or worker rights, miserly public services, and a steadily widening chasm between the rich and the rest of us.” We must restore sanity to this nation.