Will the House Follow the Senate on a Climate Bill?

This post is by Carol Andress, Economic Development Specialist at Environmental Defense.

Climate Vote 2007

Part of a series on the work of the Environmental Defense Action Fund to enact an effective climate law. You can help by writing to Congress.

Passage of the Lieberman-Warner America’s Climate Security Act in a key Senate subcommittee is a major political break-through. But the big question now is: When will the House begin work on a comprehensive global warming bill of its own?

Speaker Nancy Pelosi and other House leaders have pledged to make global warming a priority. And key House committee leaders John Dingell (D-MI) and Rick Boucher (D-VA) have drafted the first of a planned series of white papers analyzing policy options. These are all positive signs. But, what’s missing is a legislative vehicle that can be marked up in committee and scheduled for floor action.

We need to see more action. The science tells us we must start now to cap and reduce America’s global warming pollution to what science says is needed. Just two years of delay will have major consequences. If the legislation takes effect in 2012, to achieve the required level of reductions by 2020, emissions must fall by just under 2 percent per year. But a two-year delay will require that emissions fall by 4.3 percent every year – over twice as fast!

The worst thing we can do for our economy and environment is nothing at all. The second worst thing we can do is to delay, by even two years. It’s time for the House to move.

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