This week the Senate could potentially hold the first set of major
climate votes of the 112th Congress on up to four Dirty Air Acts:
McConnell-Inhofe, Rockefeller, Baucus, and Stabenow. For years now the
Senate has delayed comprehensive action on climate and clean energy -
the only major votes held on climate have been votes on
polluter-endorsed bills that would gut the Clean Air Act. This vote
could set the stage for further Clean Air Act and climate fights as
the 2012 election cycle approaches.
Following the 9.0 earthquake and resultant tsunami, supplies have been running low in Japan. Food and gasoline shortages have left grocery store aisles bare and homes without heat. The death toll is sobering, with nearly 7,000 confirmed dead andmore than 10,000 people still missing.
As the 2012 elections draw closer, the numbers at the pump could directly effect the ones at the polls. President Obama has had to quash criticisms that the climbing gas prices were owed to stalled domestic oil production. Rather, the spike is owed to the Middle East instability and most noticeably the unrest in Libya.
This past Saturday's Rally to Save the American Dream was a resounding success. People all over the nation flooded statehouses to support our public workers and stand up against tax breaks for corporations and the very rich. Along with other proud sponsors of the event (350, AFL-CIO, SEIU, MoveOn and more), we garnered the attention of none other than Glenn Beck -- making it all the way to his infamous chalkboard.
Rallies sprung up nationwide this weekend in solidarity with the workers in Wisconsin. Much of the opposition faced by unions is from the same polluter-funded front groups that have opposed climate legislation for years. The protests in Wisconsin have the opportunity to be a key turning point in the fight against corporate influence on our politics. The House and Senate will return to D.C. this week for further consideration of short-term spending bills.
The Clean Air Act and climate change-related policies are under attack from all sides in D.C. this week. In an ongoing showdown, the House Energy and Commerce Committee is considering Chairman Fred Upton's (R-MI) "dirty air" bill. Meanwhile, the full House is pulling climate regulations and clean energy investments into a fight over the budget. Rhetoric suggests that the Clean Air Act and climate policy generally will continue to be points of contention throughout the upcoming budget process.
This week we're celebrating an early spring prediction from Punxsutawney Phil, the great students at Purdue University, developments on the electric car and President Obama's threat to veto all the Clean Air Act roadblocks.
The leading story this week comes out of Punxsutawney, Pennsylvania where a local groundhog has come into the center of a climate change debate.
Climate scientist have for years complained of their inability to educate the public about the dangers of global warming.