In yesterday’s New York Times, John Kerry and Lindsay Graham wrote a joint op-ed about climate change. They agree that climate change is real, that the U.S. must cut its dependence on foreign oil, that we should not allow China or other countries to dominate the market for renewable energy technologies. They also agree that nuclear power should be part of the solution. (I’m a little dubious that we could ramp up nuclear power quickly and cheaply enough to make a difference, not to mention safely enough, but I’m open to persuasion.)
The message to those who have stalled for years is clear: killing a Senate bill is not success; indeed, given the threat of agency regulation, those who have been content to make the legislative process grind to a halt would later come running to Congress in a panic to secure the kinds of incentives and investments we can pass today. Industry needs the certainty that comes with Congressional action.
We are confident that a legitimate bipartisan effort can put America back in the lead again and can empower our negotiators to sit down at the table in Copenhagen in December and insist that the rest of the world join us in producing a new international agreement on global warming. That way, we will pass on to future generations a strong economy, a clean environment and an energy-independent nation.
Let’s hope that this is a sign that climate change will not become just another occasion for venting of partisan spleen and that we may yet succeed in responding to this grave challenge.