Thursday, November 26, 2009

Obama Sets Emissions Goals

In case any teabaggers are reading this, we’re referring to greenhouse gas emissions, not nocturnal ones.

climate The White House announced Wednesday that President Obama will attend U.N.-sponsored climate talks in Copenhagen next month and commit the United States to specific targets for reducing greenhouse gas emissions.

The administration's decision to identify a series of goals, including cutting emissions over the next decade "in the range of" 17 percent below 2005 levels, is a calculated risk, given that Congress has never set mandatory limits on greenhouse gases.

The figure amounts to a 5.5 percent cut below the 1990 levels that most countries use as a reference point, much less than what most other nations have called for. It is also less than what President Bill Clinton endorsed in the Kyoto talks in 1997 and well below the 25 to 40 percent cut that the European Union has asked of industrialized countries.

However, the target will be contingent on passage of domestic legislation, and that figure reflects the current U.S. political reality. The House already passed such a target, and Sen. John F. Kerry (D-Mass.), who is working on a bipartisan bill, said in an interview that the short-term target is "a strong and good place to be."

Obama has come under intense pressure from world leaders and his domestic supporters to take the lead in forging a global pact to slow climate change… [emphasis added]

Inserted from <Washington Post>

Obama has a problem here.  For him to commit to anything at all is risky, because the Republican Reich would love nothing more than to embarrass Obama on the international front by blocking all climate change reform, and enough DINOs have their pockets so full of Big Energy cash, that we cannot depend on them not to betray us.  On the other hand, green technology is the economic wave of the future, and unless the US takes the lead, our economy will lag behind the nations that do.  Here is another reason to change the Senate rules to require only 55 votes for cloture.

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