From NOW on PBS--Power Struggle. More available here.
This is what I hate having to explain to my relatives and friends abroad in Europe about politics in the US. We know that global warming is a fact. We know that our actions, if they didn't cause global warming, definitely exacerbate it. We know that we must reduce our dependency on oil, for both ecological and political/strategic reasons. And yet, what we are able to do is hampered so predictably by the Republican party:
Here we go again. James Inhofe, the most prominent climate change denier in the United States Senate, has concocted a new and innovative strategy to thwart the Clean Energy Jobs and American Power Act. To wit, he and his Republican colleagues on the Environment and Public Works Committee have worked up a plan to simply not show up for next week’s markup:
But Boxer cannot hold the markup unless at least two Republicans show up, and EPW ranking member James Inhofe (R-Okla.) signaled that he has unanimous support among the panel’s minority members to boycott the session until they get more data on the legislation from U.S. EPA and the Congressional Budget Office.
Inhofe said he will wait for Boxer to file an official notice of the markup — expected today — before responding with his own declaration of the GOP’s markup strategy.
“As soon as we find out what her announcement is and what she wants to do, we’ll have our response,” Inhofe told E&E last night. “We’ll have our unanimous expression ready.”
Sadly, this is a continuation of the GOP’s longstanding strategy of delaying clean energy legislation:
- As Chairman Markey shepherded his American Clean Energy and Security Act through the House Energy and Commerce Committee, Republicans employed multiple parliamentary tricks to — as Politico put it — “nitpick the bill into legislative oblivion.” Brian Beutler called these nefarious stall tactics, and noted that Democrats responded by hiring a speed reader.
- Last year during the debate over the Climate Security Act, Minority Leader Mitch McConnell demanded that the entire 491 page bill be read on the floor of the United States Senate. A strategy memo was leaked at the time detailing the Republican strategy for delaying the bill as much as humanly possible.
While this Republican obstructionism is not necessarily surprising, it is especially egregious this time. Here are a few things about this episode that struck me:
1. Despite the fact that Senator Inhofe has been working to orchestrate this obstruction for a week now, Republicans are pretending the effort is being led by the two moderate Republicans on the committee. Politico handled the stenography.
The Politco, acting as a mouthpiece for the Republican Party? Say it isn't so!
Can you imagine how much further we'd get in this country if we didn't have so many idiots in office?