Rapid Action On Greenhouse Legislation Has Environmentalists Enthused

Federal legislation to curb greenhouse gas emissions will happen sooner than many have anticipated says Steve Cochran, of Environmental Defense, a potent environmental advocacy group. "We have formallly entered the phase of making law in reagard to climate change," Cochran said, "The legislative agenda has clearly begun."

Cocharn spoke on a day when Democratic California Senator Dianne Feinstein introduced the third climate change bill of the session -- and she promised to introduce four more herself in coming months. Senators Lieberman, McCain, and Obama have introduced an aggressive repackaging of a bill already deemed too strong by previous congresses. And Senators Boxer and Bernie Sanders have also co-sponsored an emissions reduction bill that has garned support among many environmentalists.

The rapid congressional action has environmental groups enthused that the 110th Congress will pass a landmark bill that will effectively put the U.S. in league with member nations of the Kyoto protocol. For its part, Environmental Defense says that for any bill to earn its support it must pass a basic test: greenhouse gas emissions must go down, not up.

That means bills that only seek to slow down the growth of emissions increases will face stiff resistance by Environemtal Defense and presumably other ernvironmental groups.

By Bret Schulte