Climate Files 24 / The Senate Takes on Climate

FNApollo11YWCanThis episode is Part 2 of the highlights of the Senate hearing from the committee Environment and Public works from July 7th, 2009. You can listen to all 3+ hours of it from links on the committee website here. Many other hearings they have held recently are available there too.

It’s clear that Barbara Boxer, the chairwoman, is too willing to make concessions and compromises even at this early date in the senate process, and it’s also clear that she believes big business has a big role to play in shaping our climate legislation. USCAP is not only comprised of big business but also Big Oil and Big Chemical. And these people are writing our jobs-energy bills for us and then calling it a “climate bill”. (Is anyone reminded of another administration who let big business interests write our energy policy?)

It’s interesting that the only scientist at this hearing was our energy secretary, Steven Chu. Everyone there seemed to be a  believer in the idea of “clean coal”.   This senate committee is all too willing to believe that the dirtiest fossil fuel can or should be cleaned up, even at a cost of trillions of dollars. It was only a very short time ago that Al Gore and climate scientist James Hansen and many others were telling the world that there is no such thing as clean coal — because there isn’t.   We really have to keep speaking out against this “clean coal” idea before we are deeply invested in it with this legislation.   There is no time to waste. The Senate will move forward on these ideas unless they hear from us. You can read a good article about the politics of it here.

At the end, a few words of inspiration, some of them about our first moon landing 40 years ago. They are the type of inspiring words that we need to hear from President Obama very soon.

Speakers include: Energy Sec. Steven Chu, EPA head Lisa Jackson, Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack, and Sec. Interior Ken Salazar. Salazar believes we can produce 29% of our electricity needs from solar power. In Part II, Rich Wells, Dow Chemical;  David Hawkins, NRDC; and John Fetterman, the mayor of Braddock, Pennsylvania.

Music:  (middle song) The Earth Keeps Turning On by Mister Smolin

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