Month 3, Day 11: The Three Messketeers

RL Miller posted an excellent piece at Kos yesterday pointing out that the trio of senators responsible for generating climate legislation is busy meeting with representatives of the world’s biggest contributors to the current carbon situation.

John Kerry is my senator. Lindsey Graham may be a Republican, but he’s been making vaguely sensible noises about climate. After Lieberman’s grotesque behavior over health care it’s hard to take him seriously, but he is apparently much more resolute on climate than on HCR.

But I gotta say, it’s a sad day when two-thirds of my hope for substantial climate legislation rests with Lindsey Graham and Joe Lieberman.

Anyway, they got a letter.

Dear Senators Kerry, Graham and Lieberman,

I am a constituent of Senator Kerry’s, and a firm believer in the need to address the issue of global climate change immediately. America must regulate its emissions of CO2; once we commit ourselves, much of the rest of the world will follow suit. We cannot pretend to be a world leader if we wait for other nations to go first.

I’m glad that the three of you are developing a climate bill, and I hope that it is sufficiently robust to make a difference. But I was very distressed to learn that you had met recently with “hydrocarbon enablers” like the American Petroleum Institute, the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, major electric utilities, the National Association of Manufacturers, the cement industry, and mining interests, and that (according to The LA Times) your message to these groups was, “Tell us what you need to support this bill. Be specific.”

It should be obvious to the meanest intelligence that the API, the Chamber of Commerce and the rest of these organizations will only support climate legislation if it does not affect them in the slightest. While I am in principle a supporter of “good faith” negotiations, there must surely be a point where the principle of good faith has been abused irretrievably. The world’s largest contributors to our CO2 dilemma are not interested in anything except gutting meaningful climate legislation; asking them for their support is an absurdity.

We need a totally new energy equation in this country, and we need it soon. The changes in the world’s climate are too huge and too potentially devastating to allow our country’s biggest polluters to stand in the way of action; “business as usual” is only a plan for profit, not a plan for the planet.

Do not allow industry representatives to weaken your climate bill. Make it stronger instead. Much stronger.

We’re counting on you.

Yours Sincerely,

Warren Senders

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