- Go big to highlight contrast: Put together the biggest, boldest bill possible, rally as much Democratic support as possible, and watch it get defeated by the Filibusterin’ 110th Republicans. Let the American public know exactly where the two parties stand and what they can expect if they boost Dem majorities and elect a Dem president.
- Go down the center to highlight bipartisanship: Put together a moderate, bipartisan bill, and get it through Congress. Create a baseline for future legislation. Announce that climate change is a mainstream issue on which any future president will have to act. The more moderate the bill, the more extreme and discredited Bush will look by vetoing it.
- Go … nowhere: No sense going through what the press will inevitably call a defeat. Just pass other energy bills and bide your time on cap-and-trade. Do the legwork to educate Congress and build support for some tough requirements. Rely on a Dem president and larger Dem majorities in Congress in 2009 — an environment in which a much more ambitious bill can be passed.
Well, my hope … aim for #1. This is not an arena for compromise and I fall into the camp of ‘we have just one shot’. Something with “Global Warming” passes this year, it is hard to see Congress returning to this with something much stronger just a few years later.
As Watthead phrased it in comments:
I think the best option for now is for Congressional Dems to go with #1. Propose a bold plan, one that is based on science, that gets us climate security and that begings a transition to a sustainable, new energy economy.
articulate not only a strong policy, but much more importantly, begin to articulate a set of strong core values that tackling climate change and building a sustainable energy economy will support and extend from. Dems should be taking this chance to share a vision of a stronger, safer, richer and healthier America secure from the threats of climate change, depleting fossil fuels and petro-dictators.
What can I write other than: YES!!!!
My perspective …
- Go for broke with #1. Do the right thing, somewhere in line with StepItUp calls for (see: Stepping it Up … second time around.
- As well, not under Global Warming legislation, pursue smart / niche concepts that help improve the energy situation and foster greater capacity for stronger measures. These should be things that George W might sign, such as the Energy Smart Community Bonds (ESCB) program we’ve developed at Energize America (www.ea2020.org).
And, well, David provided a good laydown of the options. I remain fearful that the second path will be the one chosen.