Just in time for Blog Action Day 2009, I received this email in my in-box today from the good folks at Credo…
Senators Kerry and Boxer have introduced a climate bill that protects the EPA, a bold step that deserves to be commended. But Big Coal and Big Oil will stop at nothing to strangle the EPA, and maintain the status quo, where polluters escape regulation and our planet pays the price.
Almost immediately, the strongest provisions of the climate bill started to be talked about as “bargaining chips,” to be given away for a few votes of hesitant senators. stepped right up to this offer, and last weekend authored an editorial with .
Many cheered this turn of events. But if you look closely at what Kerry and Graham wrote, you can see the horse trading has begun. Among the major concessions to Big Energy already being talked about are huge investments in nuclear energy and an increase in offshore drilling. And what does Big Coal get? A commitment that America will become the “Saudi Arabia of clean coal.”
With these concessions already out in the open, an all out assault on a strong EPA can’t be far behind. Big Coal was able to strip the power of EPA to regulate CO2 in the House bill; you can bet it will stop at nothing to take away EPA regulatory power in the Senate.
Environmental senators need to stand up and draw a line in the sand: they must pledge only to support a bill that preserves the EPA’s ability to regulate C02 and doesn’t give away tens of billions of dollars to the coal industry.
If enough environmental senators draw a line in the sand and say, as a bloc, that they will not vote for any plan that fails to meet this minimum threshold, the Obama administration and the Senate leadership will be forced to listen to their demands.
Thank you for working to build a better world.
Michael Kieschnick, President