Foreign Policy Blogs

Big Day on The Hill

The Senate , The Committee on Environment and Public Works today marked up the "Lieberman-Warner Climate Security Act" (S. 2191).  This has the support of America's leading environmental organizations, a coalition of four major religious organizations, and the Apollo Alliance, an initiative by labor unions and others to rejuvenate "our nation's economy by creating the next generation of American industrial jobs and treating clean energy as an economic and security mandate to rebuild America."  (See their letter of support.)  The A.P. reporter on this beat, H. Josef Hebert, filed this story late this afternoon:  Senate panel takes global warming bill, and here's a good summary from the "NY Times" (appearing on 12/6), Senate Panel Passes Bill to Limit Greenhouse Gases.  The full Senate won't take this up until next year, but now we've got a place to hang our hat. 

First, though, the Energy Bill, which brings us to .

The House , Speaker Pelosi has been negotiating with the White House.  Here's her letter today to their point person, Allan Hubbard.  She reiterates the important points of the CAFE upgrade, the 15% RPS, and the closing of tax loopholes for the oil and gas industry.  Hill Heat, a blog on "Science Policy Legislation Action" has this useful rundown.  (Thanks for this, Hill Heat.)  Here's an update on the status of the legislation and the schedule, courtesy of the venerable "Congressional Quarterly."  We are told:  "The legislation was expected to come to the House floor Thursday, after a Rules Committee meeting Wednesday night."

See also this excellent analysis from the "NY Times" on all this activity – Crossing a Threshold on Energy Legislation.

If the House passes the draft legislation tomorrow, it'll then go over to the Senate for its consideration.  What's needed is the critical 60 votes to cut off debate.  A Republican filibuster has been threatened.  The thinking seems to be that with a preponderance of Democrats, plus the two Independents who caucus with the Democrats, and enough moderate Republicans , traditionally better environmentalists than their brothers and sisters further right in the GOP , the 60 votes can be gleaned.

This is getting good!



Bill Hewitt

Bill Hewitt has been an environmental activist and professional for nearly 25 years. He was deeply involved in the battle to curtail acid rain, and was also a Sierra Club leader in New York City. He spent 11 years in public affairs for the NY State Department of Environmental Conservation, and worked on environmental issues for two NYC mayoral campaigns and a presidential campaign. He is a writer and editor and is the principal of Hewitt Communications. He has an M.S. in international affairs, has taught political science at Pace University, and has graduate and continuing education classes on climate change, sustainability, and energy and the environment at The Center for Global Affairs at NYU. His book, "A Newer World - Politics, Money, Technology, and What’s Really Being Done to Solve the Climate Crisis," will be out from the University Press of New England in December.

Areas of Focus:
the policy, politics, science and economics of environmental protection, sustainability, energy and climate change