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.
Last week Republicans in the Senate threatened to force a vote on the Upton-Inhofe Dirty Air Act. A vote will be delayed until after the one-week recess but it goes to show how committed big polluters and their allies in Congress are to gutting the Clean Air Act every chance they get. Energy-related disasters and conflicts in Japan and Libya continue to influence the U.S. dialogue on energy and climate policy.
The latest attacks on the Clean Air Act are not about policy or even politics; they're about corruption, plain and simple.
We see these attacks coming from both Republicans and Democrats, but nearly all of them are coming from lawmakers who have received large infusions of cash or pressure from big polluters like the coal industry.
We had an action packed week. The Koch brothers are buying dirty policy; the gust of support for wind power is sweeping the nation; 1.5 million green jobs are headed our way and you still have time to visit Greenpeace's matchmaking site before Valentine's Day.
The numbers are in on 2010's final temperature; the EPA makes a great announcement about MTR; President Obama makes a bold move for solar energy and we're putting the best phone applications for climate on your radar.
Saturday's attack on Tucson, Arizona Rep. Gabrielle "Gabby" Giffords (D-AZ) has Capitol Hill on edge. Republican House leadership plans to delay consideration of the hyper-partisan health care repeal bill, and will instead pay tribute to Giffords by dismissing Congress for the week. Discussions of gun control and violent political messages are expected to ensue in the coming week.
Let's start the New Year off right. While Senator Barbara Boxer (D-CA) has taken a firm stance in keeping the EPA's regulation in place at the start of this year, Kyle Gracey at Grist explains his top resolution is to use his words carefully and correctly, starting with calling carbon emissions and greenhouse gas emissions exactly what they are: pollution. He calls on everyone to take the neutral word out of deadly substances.
Many of you have already started the trek home to loved ones, but here at 1Sky we still wanted to wish you very happy holiday and a wonderful New Year! Here are a few of the highlights from this week to tide you over until 2011.
Last week, Senator Jay Rockefeller (D-WV) made an unsuccessful last-minute attempt to put the Clean Air Act before Congress adjourns. Procedural changes in the appropriations bill stopped the vote, but Rockefeller and his allies in the coal and oil industries are resolved to keep fighting the Clean Air Act when Congress reconvenes January 5th -- three days after the Clean Air Act kicks in for greenhouse gasses.