Another perspective on Waxman-Markey

A few days ago, I wrote about Greenpeace’s opposition to the American Climate and Energy Security Act. Environmentalists are concerned that the bill sets an inadequate GHG reduction goal, gives away free offsets to polluters, and includes funding for new coal plants.  Greenpeace, and others, are calling on Congress and the President to create a stronger bill.  In my post, I made the point that we could not expect other nations to enact drastic climate legislation if we did not have a plan of our own.

Meanwhile, ClimateProgress made a similar point from a different perspective:

On the other hand, if Waxman-Markey fails to get out of committee or fails to make it through both houses of Congress over the next 12 months or so, don’t expect any US climate action for a long time — the political mavens will not take failure as a sign to pursue a stronger bill.  And failure would mean the international negotiation process would be dead.  Equally important, why would China agree to a target if we don’t?

It is quite possible that Congress has one chance to pass a climate bill, and one chance to get it right.  If a carbon cap is the right answer, then Waxman-Markey does more good than harm.  And there’s a good chance that today’s legislation choices are “take it” or “leave it.”  If this is the best we’re going to get, should we support the bill despite its unsavory provisions?

What do you think?


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