Congress Takes on Global Warming

Hard to believe, but the last time Congress passed major environmental reform was nearly 20 years ago, when the scourge of acid rain sent the country into a panic. Now, with the EPA having clearly defined global warming as a threat and Democratic majorities in both the House and Senate, it would appear that significant reforms are once again on the way. Congress could begin hearings this week on climate-change legislation. The bill, if passed, "could revolutionize how the country produces and uses energy," and actually reduce the amount of pollution created by the U.S. The Obama administration is so determined to begin combating global warming that they have made it clear they interpret old laws in a way that will still force new regulations on vehicles and industry should the bill fail. Many in D.C. are guardedly optimistic about the chances for substantial change. One expert told the Associated Press, "For the first time ever, we have got the political actors all aligned. That is not enough to get a law passed, but that is a huge start. We haven't been close to that before."