Friday, November 21, 2008
New environmental cast in D.C. signaled by election today of Waxman, Stevens' defeat To hear some tell it, this is a whole new day for environmental causes in the U.S. House of Representatives, with the election of California's Henry Waxman as chairman of the Energy & Commerce Committee. That's because Waxman defeated John Dingell of Michigan in the Democratic caucus' vote, 137-122. Dingell, of course, is a vigorous defender of the auto industry and loathe to lay down mileage standards that would upset Detroit. Waxman, OTOH, is promising to tackle global warming quickly with his version of Cap'n Trade. Waxman's elevation is causing quite a stir among those that follow D.C.'s green politics. Frinstance, the expensive-but-worth-it Greenwire news service had five reporters' names on its story. (At least that's what I've heard. Greenwire is too expensive for Dateline Earth's corporate overlords.) Want more proof of the significance? Listen to Myron Ebell, director of energy and global warming policy at the libertarian Competitive Enterprise Institute: This should provide a loud wake-up call to American business leaders that the 111th Congress is not going to play nicely with them on energy rationing policies. I hope that those who have counseled that "if you're not at the table, you're on the menu," will now realize that they are on the menu and they'd better get as far away from the table as quickly as they can.