The Senate Moves Forward on Climate Change

The Senate is gearing up for a big week on Energy policy, with the Environment and Public Works (EPW) pulling out the high ranking Administration officials tomorrow. The Energy and Natural Resources (ENR) will also do a hearing on Natural Gas and Climate Change.

I’ve been meaning to write about the contrast between ENR and EPW in terms of the relationship between Ranking members and Chairs. At ENR Jeff Bingaman and Lisa Murkowski basically seem like they’re on the same page as much as you could expect for members of opposite parties. They’re both pro-industry, but make an effort to be reasonable. Neither wants to seen as non-responsive to either industry or environment concerns, even if they don’t agree on policy.

By contrast Jim Inhofe thinks Climate Change is a scam, invites science fiction writers to testify about their conspiracy theories and is more likely to quote the bible then the EPA to explain his vote. Barbara Boxer was the lead Senator against drilling in ANWR, is pushing Climate legislation and is currently directing her office to cut their electricity consumption in half.

ENR is much more in the traditional mold of Congressional Committees, with both sides realizing that working together is the best way to make sure their hard work crafting legislation actually becomes law. The EPW Committee relationship is more reflective of modern politics, which is to say defined by polarization and cable news style blasting each the other side’s legislative priorities.

-Chris

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