There’s a new piece of legislation, entitled the Climate Action and Low Carbon Development Bill, designed to consolidate national efforts to deal with climate change. Unfortunately, this new piece of legislation is being considered by the national legislature of Ireland, not here in the United States of America.
What is our national legislature doing here in the USA to confront the growing crisis of climate change? Not much.
President Barack Obama talked a lot in his inaugural speech and State Of The Union address about how he would focus intensely on the problem of climate change, but since those speeches, he’s done nothing on the subject. It is within the responsibilities of the President of the United States to send specific legislation to the Congress, but President Obama has sent Congress no climate change legislation.
Congressional Democrats aren’t doing much to pick up the slack. In the House of Representatives, the supposedly most environmentally-conscious U.S. representatives have formed a Safe Climate Caucus, but that caucus has produced no legislation, and has promised only to talk about climate change, rather than taking action.
In the U.S. Senate, independent Bernard Sanders and Democrat Barbara Boxer have introduced S. 332, a strong bill that would both reduce the federal budget deficit and lower carbon emissions. However, in the two weeks since S. 332 was introduced, not one single additional U.S. senator, Republican or Democrat, has signed up to support the legislation through a cosponsorship. Barack Obama won’t even talk about the bill, pretending that it doesn’t exist.
Once again, we’ve seen that the promises of the Democratic Party to end a generation of inaction on climate change can’t be trusted. Instead, environmentalists are having to work against the Democratic Party’s efforts to protect the fossil fuel industry. Greenpeace has launched a new petitioning effort to pressure the Obama White House to pull back from its plans to expand offshore drilling for oil in the Arctic, writing to Obama:
“Someone outside the industry needs to call a ‘timeout’ to review whether or not the technology is keeping pace as companies push into increasingly risky climates.
Mr. President, that someone should be you.
I am urging you to call for a ‘timeout’ from all Arctic drilling and suspend Shell’s permits to drill in the Chukchi and Beaufort seas immediately.
It’s time to rethink our energy policy. Melting sea ice is a warning to humanity. Not an invitation to drill for more of the stuff that is causing the problem in the first place.”