Tuesday, February 13, 2007

Global Warming Increasingly a Policy Story

According to a a report from the Pew Center on Global Climate Change, 106 bills, resolutions and amendments addressing global warming were introduced into the 109th Congress, which ended in December. This is up from just seven in the 105th Congress (1997-1998).

Legislative activity on climate change has climbed steadily, year by year. The Pew report also notes that the issue is increasingly becoming bipartisan, with proposals being introduced on both sides of the aisle. "The growing interest suggests that a bipartisan consensus is developing around the need to address climate change," the report concluded.

With the Democrats now in power, we might expect a wave of new legislation. I wonder whether the Bush Administration will continue to hold back the tide of bills that would institute mandatory caps on carbon emissions, or a carbon tax. It should be an interesting year.


HL said...

As the New York Times reported this week, utilities are trotting out the usual arguments against environmental regulation. Their claim: it will take decades to bring our greenhouse gas emissions down.

Here's a link: http://www.nytimes.com/2007/02/15/business/15carbon.html?ref=science

HL said...

Colorado is moving forward on climate change, if you haven't noticed. The General Assembly is quickly advancing SB 100, which will ease economic obstacles to the construction of new transmission lines. That bill is essential to encouraging development of new renewable energy sources because a provider has to be able to get that power to market.

Another bill that will require the state's utilities to increase the proportion of their power generated from renewable sources (doubling the Amendment 37 standard for investor-owned utilities like Xcel and imposing a target on munies and the cooperatives) has also passed committee.

The Senate Select Committee on Renewable Energy meets for the first time next week. They'll develop a further agenda. Stay tuned.