I went to my first Senate hearing yesterday. I got to skip the lobbyist line and recorded the proceedings from one of the press tables–in spite of not yet having my Congressional press pass. This was my take away from the interesting, if dispiriting event.
UPDATE: My post was featured in the next day’s “Eco-News Roundup” on Mother Jones‘ Blue Marble blog.
Yesterday afternoon the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee met to discuss the costs of the increasingly endangered cap-and-trade legislation. It was unclear why the committee, which has already advanced its own much-derided portion of the Senate climate effort, was even meeting to discuss cap-and-trade. That is, until the senators went off script—but never off message.
Sen. John Barrasso (R-Wy.) missed the preceding hour of testimony from the assembled experts, but that did not stop him from lambasting the proposed “cap-and-tax scheme” that he claimed would only benefit the “Wall Street elite” and went on to predict an onslaught of ill-defined “green collar crime.” For evidence, he cited a report from London’s Sunday Times about the UN suspending the largest auditor of the Kyoto Protocol’s offsets program for impropriety. Instead of interpreting this as a strike against cap-and-trade, however, the experts found the action to be an altogether positive development. (In short, stronger standards for emissions auditors mean more effective offsets.)
The next late arrival to seize the bully pulpit was Sen. Byron Dorgan (D-N.D.), one of four centrist Democrats who’ve proposed shelving greenhouse gas regulation.
Click here to read the rest of the MoJo blog post or add a comment.
Photo credit: M.V. Jantzen (via Flickr)