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Congress Cools on Climate Bill, but Forecast Includes Likely Change

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Thursday, June 19, 2008   

Richmond, VA - Scientists say the planet continues to warm, but the climate change debate in Congress has cooled off for now, leaving many wondering about the next move. The "Climate Security Act," which was cosponsored by Republican Senator John Warner, would have introduced caps on greenhouse gas emissions - before it was squelched.

Despite the bill's defeat, some believe major progress has been made in a slow-but-sure effort to craft a new national energy policy. That's the view of Erik DuMont, national field director for the Pew Environment Group.

"This was a very strong step, and we're very happy that Senator Warner was leading this charge; we're happy that Senator Webb voted to keep moving forward as well. We can see very easily how we can, next year, actually get legislation passed and onto the President's desk."

Although it stalled, DuMont notes the bill had strong bipartisan support. The chances for major climate change legislation also are looking up because both presidential candidates support action on the issue, he adds.

Karl Brinn, with Green Visions Consulting in Richmond, says there's room for environmental improvement in every business sector, including 'green building' innovations.

"Buildings contribute 40 percent plus to the production of greenhouse gases, and there are so many things that we could do to begin to address that with some leadership at the federal level."

Opponents of the Climate Security Act said it would cost too much, and could have a negative impact on an already struggling economy.




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