House Passes Climate Change Legislation

The passage yesterday by the House of legislation to regulate greenhouse gases, impose a renewable electricity standard and carry out a host of other energy reforms represents the first time that either legislative body in the United States has passed climate legislation.  If the Senate now goes on to pass this historic legislation as well, it will demonstrate that the US is serious about saving our climate.  It is hard to underestimate the importance of this bill--that for all the changes made to gain passage--would be one of the most important environmental bills ever passed comparable to the clean water act and other landmark legislation.

Conventional wisdom holds that the bill faces an uphill battle in the Senate.  However, when dealing with historic matters,  the Senate has at key points in history, proven itself unusually far sighted and stepped beyond the calculus of ordinary vote counts as the House did yesterday.   As the summer progresses we shall see.  But certainly, yesterday's action by the House was a major win for the environmental movement and fulfilled the leadership's goal of passsing a bill before July 4th.  This, in and of itself, is a significant accomplishment.  We are that much closer to putting a price on carbon and changing the rules to transform the economy and move America toward a clean, low carbon future.