Climate Change and 110th Congress

Climate change is rapidly becoming the key domestic policy issue for the new Congress.  A flurry of legislative proposals has already been introduced, and Speaker Pelosi has stated that climate change will be the focus for her leadership over the next six months now that the “100 Hours” agenda is complete.  The Speaker is moving forward with a plan to create a “Select Committee on Energy Independence and Global Warming,” to be chaired by Rep. Ed Markey (D-MA), even over the strong objections of Energy and Commerce Committee John Dingell (D-MI).  Pelosi is also making it clear that she wants a climate change bill debated and approved by House by July 4th.

The Senate too is gearing up quickly, albeit without as clear a deadline for final action.  Several Senate committees are holding hearings on climate change in the coming weeks, with a clear goal of at least laying some groundwork for future legislative action.  As mentioned at the INGAA Board meeting, enactment of climate change legislation prior to the 2008 election is unlikely, but it is very likely that the next two years will see the outline of a federal program begin to take shape.