Friday, May 22, 2009

without Jim

The biggest environmental bill since the Clean Air Act passed the House Energy & Commerce Committee yesterday...with a nay from Utah's Rep. Jim Matheson (D-02). The vote was 35 to 25, with one Republican, Rep. Mary Bono of California, voting in favor of the cap-and-trade bill. Some Republicans on the committee thought that requiring the bill to be read aloud would be be a good way to stall--and thereby kill the bill. This prompted committee Democrats to hire someone like this guy to do the reading:

All fun aside, at least Jim had constructive criticisms, perhaps suggested changes that could make passage in the U.S. Senate more likely:
Matheson plans to propose an amendment that will help small refiners meet the new requirements. Small refiners, of which there are a handful in Utah, Wyoming and surrounding states, produces less than 205,000 barrels of oil a day.

"These are just some issues I'm really concerned about," he said.

But Matheson, considered by many to be a key swing vote, said he is not philosophically opposed to the ideas in the bill and believes with some changes he could support it.

"We've got to deal with our energy independence challenge and we've got to deal with our climate change challenge," he said.
To me, this bill is good and we can't let the perfect be the enemy of the good, but I think a lot more needs to be done.

Even if we humans were to stop putting CO2 up in the air tomorrow, rather than reducing the amount we put up, there still would be WAY more CO2 in the atmosphere than has been there in at least 650,000 years, as far back as we can measure. We need to figure out a way to dramatically absorb all of that CO2, something like limestone or bacteria, otherwise we are well on our way... Not to being America's Next Top Model, but to becoming Venus.

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