By Thomas Friedman
21 July 2010 – From The New York Times – The hour is late, but there is still a sliver of time to pass a serious energy bill out of this Congress. To do so, though, would require President Obama to rustle up votes with a passion that he has failed to exhibit up to now, and, more importantly, it would require at least seven Republican senators to put the national interest above party and politics. Yes, I know that is all unlikely. You can laugh now. But just remember this: If we don’t get a serious energy bill out of this Congress, and Republicans retake the House and Senate, we may not have another shot until the next presidential term or until we get a “perfect storm” — a climate or energy crisis that is awful enough to finally end our debate on these issues but not so awful as to end the world. But, hey, by 2012, China should pretty much own the clean-tech industry and we’ll at least be able to get some good deals on electric cars.
The energy bill now being discussed in the Senate — which would raise energy-efficiency standards, require utilities to get 15 percent or more of their power from renewable sources, like wind and solar, and create a limited cap on carbon emissions from power plants — is already watered down just to get 53 or so Democratic votes. But at least it gets us started on ending our addiction to oil and mitigating climate change. Unfortunately, right now it is not clear that a single Republican senator will even vote for this watered-down bill. Read the whole story