Kerry Lieberman Needs Renewed Cooperation

Jonathan Hiskes recent Grist post is an excellent exploration of a schism in the environmental community over the long awaited American Power Act i.e. the Kerry/Lieberman and one time Graham bill. Earlier in May, I took a day off from my day job, put on my private citizen hat and joined the Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC) in Washington, DC for a day of lobbying in support of the bill.

The night before the bill was released Senator Kerry joined us for dinner. He made it clear that the bill would contain compromises, such as limited provisions on off-shore drilling or a pathway for coal. Kerry appealed to the NRDC to support the bill because politically, the window to put a price on carbon was rapidly closing. Although I cannot speak for NRDC, I think it would be fair to say that the consensus in the room was that, despite strong opposition to specific pieces of the bill, it was more important to get something done.

Hiskes does an excellent job of explaining the fine-line that environmental organizations are walking on climate legislation. For me, I’m convinced that in this case, a bird in hand is worth two in the bush.

photo: The Sierra Club

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