Climate Change Shenanigans

If you're wondering what the Senate is doing on climate change, since taking up the bill earlier this week, the answer is not much thanks to the bill's opposition. Senator Mitch McConnell (R, Ky) arranged for the reading of the entire bill which continued through about 10PM last night. Meanwhile, Republicans have been running through their talking points on how the bill is not about saving our climate but about restributing wealth. Senator McCain, a supporter of climate change, has been conveniently absent during this charade since his views are in opposition to that of his party.

While this may seem to be all bad news, in fact getting Republicans on the record about climate change and, even drawing out reservations from Democrats such as Jay Rockefeller and Robert Byrd from the coal-rich state of West Virginia is the point of bringing it to the floor. For this or similar legislation designed to put a price on carbon to pass, it is critical that opposing arguments be flushed out so that they can be addressed either through arguments or changes to the bill. That's what this process is about.

Thus, while it may not make for good viewing on C-Span, debating climate change on the floor of the Senate is a necessary part of developing legislation as cross cutting with regard to the economy as this. Legislation this transformative with the ability to help build the new, clean post carbon economy and dismantle the old dirty one, can't be passed overnight. Still let's hope the debate gets a bit more substantive soon.