Sunday, June 24, 2007

Are we making progress? Just more hot air about going green in the US

Thomas Friedman's editorial in the New York Times today sums it up nicely. We have the technology to really begin to move toward a more efficient, eco-friendly way, but we lack the political will and the leadership in Washington.

For the record, let's see where we stand with Washington:

1. The Senate bill that calls for a 35 miles per gallon standard to be met by 20 is now making its way through the House. But the bill provides a loop hole given by the Transportation Department that gives provides an "opt out" option for US car manufacturers who cry and say it's too expensive to meet this standard.

The European Union is already at 35 mpg today and is competing with Japan to get to 40 mpg soon by 2012.

Freidman calls our policy: "assisted suicide for the U. S. auto industry."

2. The Republicans killed a proposed national renewable electricity mandate that would have required utilities to produce 15 percentage of our power from wind, solar, biomass and other clean-energy sources by 2020.

3. Republicans killed the Democrats' effort to boot taxes on oil and gas companies that would have raised some $32 billion for alternative fuel projects.

4. There was no attempt to even discuss the cap-and-trade system for taxing carbon dioxide emissions. They also killed the effort by Senator Amy Klobuchar of Minnesota to design a carbon counter.
All talk and no action, that's where we stand today.

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