In Part 1, I described four tests that I believe will determine whether a climate bill approved by Congress this year should be judged a success. The bottom line is that the Senate must adopt a climate bill that is considerably stronger than the Waxman-Markey bill approved by the House.
I will not try to analyze Waxman-Markey’s pluses and minuses in detail. Others already have done that very well, including David Hawkins of the Natural Resources Defense Council in 40 pages of detailed critique he delivered to the Senate on July 2, and the Citizen’s Guide to Climate Policy by Lois Parshley and Ben Wessel. The Guide explains the House bill about as clearly as one can; its recommendations for a final climate bill come much closer to meeting the four tests I proposed in Part 1.
Here are just a few key ways the bill that finally emerges from Congress should be stronger than the one that came from the House:
o Require deeper and faster cuts in greenhouse gas emissions. The United States’ goal should be at least as strong as the European Union’s – a 20 percent reduction by 2020. Twenty-five percent would be better. That’s compared to 1990, not 2005. Continued...