Tuesday, February 06, 2007

Global Warming Legislation Will Be Controlled by John Dingell’s Committee

For anyone hoping for sweeping improvements in auto fuel efficiency in the United States it might be a good idea to be prepared for a considerable wait. According to the Detroit Free Press, an agreement among Democrats in the House of Representatives states that all climate change legislation will be under the control of the Energy and Commerce Committee which is chaired by John Dingell from Michigan. The agreement stipulates that the special global warming committee formed by House Speaker Nancy Pelosi will have no legislative power.

While John Dingell is no James Inhofe, the senator from Oklahoma who has proclaimed that global warming is a hoax, neither is he another Al Gore. The quote below suggests he might in fact be closer to Inhofe. As I reported in a previous post, when asked by an interviewer whether a scientific consensus on global warming has been established Dingell replied:
"This country, this world, the [human] race of which you and I are a part, is great at having consensuses that are in great error. And so I want to get the scientific facts, and find out what the situation is, and find out what is the cure, and find out what is the cure that is acceptable to the country that I represent and serve."

So much for scientific consensus found in the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change report released last Friday.

Among environmentalists Dingell is best known for his years of opposing increases in fuel efficiency standards for motor vehicles. Essentially all strategies for reducing carbon dioxide emissions call for sizable improvements in fuel efficiency standards. One of the great questions we now face, therefore, is whether Dingell is ready to compromise on the issue of fuel efficiency standards or not. For the sake of humankind as well as numerous species of animals, let’s hope so.

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