NRDC President: Climate is on Congressional Agenda for 2010
In the face of continuing concerns that the federal government will not be able to pass any meaningful legislation on climate reform, Natural Resources Defense Council president Frances Beinecke made her case for why she thinks a clean energy bill is coming down the pike. In a blog on the Huffington Post (originally posted on the NRDC’s site), Beinecke laid out a number of reasons she thinks the Senate will be able to act on this legislation. (Up until now there’s been a quite bit more movement on energy reform at the state level than in Washington.)
Beinecke considered it a positive sign that Senator Harry Reid, the Senate Majority Leader, has said that climate legislation will be a topic the Senate will address in the next few months. According to Beinecke, “This statement, coming from the majority leader, makes it clear the bill has a firm place on the Senate’s schedule.” She also thinks the Senate will not try to give any legislation too narrow of a focus, saying that Reid has discussed what she dubbed “a comprehensive clean energy and climate legislation.” Supporting the notion that the White House is backing a forthcoming energy bill, Beinecke pointed to the fact that the US envoy on climate change, Todd Stern, said the president is planning on moving forward with this legislation this year.
The NRDC, she said, is also behind legislation limiting carbon emissions, despite reports to the contrary. As she elaborated, “When we say we support clean energy and climate legislation, that means we back clear, comprehensive limits on carbon pollution—limits that tighten over time to meet what science say[s] we must do to stabilize the climate.” Ultimately, though, Beinecke thinks the predictions about the death of the clean energy bill in the Senate are premature. As she put it: “Plenty of people thought similar legislation would fail in the House, and they were wrong. Plenty of people think major environmental legislation won’t get passed in an election year, and they are wrong about that too.”