This post is by Mark MacLeod, Director of Special Projects, Climate and Air Program, Environmental Defense.
Climate Vote 2007
For those who don't live and breathe the legislative process, the political maneuverings on Capitol Hill can be very confusing. Politicians often introduce bills for no other reason than to carve out space in the political debate. These marker bills set the parameters of debate and give politicians space to define their positions.
Eventually, ideas from many of these marker bills may be pieced together in a single legislative vehicle around which the legislative process begins to coalesce. There are clear signs that we have reached this stage with the Lieberman-Warner America's Climate Security Act (ACSA).
First, the list of original cosponsors includes Senators from the left and the right. Of particular note is the support of Senator Elizabeth Dole (R-NC), who has never supported a national limit on global warming pollution… until now.
Second, Senator Max Baucus (D-MT), who also has opposed mandatory limits on global warming legislation, just moments ago stated his intent to support the ACSA, a huge swing in our favor!
Finally, the Washington Post editorial page, which has previously been very skeptical of Congress's ability to deal with global warming, wrote recently that this bill "offers the United States a chance to finally move off the sidelines and start combating global warming."
We are determined to continue to work with key Senate leaders to pass the strongest possible global warming bill. If these three signs are any indication, the Lieberman-Warner bill is positioned as the legislative vehicle that could win a filibuster-proof majority in the Senate.