GOP Filibuster Can't Slow Momentum for Climate Action in 2009
Though an attempt to break through Senate Republican leadership’s filibuster fell short, today’s historic U.S. Senate vote on the Climate Security Act, the strongest global warming bill ever acted on by Congress, creates huge momentum for climate action heading into 2009. With both presidential candidates backing the Climate Security Act’s cap-and-trade framework for cutting America’s greenhouse gas emissions, convergence is coming between Congressional and White House leadership.
The good news is that many senators who have previously buried their head in the sand and pretended global warming doesn’t exist now acknowledge the problem is real. The bad news is they are now throwing sand in the gears to prevent Congress from actually doing anything about it.
In all, 54 senators spoke up for the need to debate solutions to global warming, far surpassing the 38 votes in 2005 and 43 votes in 2003 for legislation that was significantly weaker than this year’s Climate Security Act. Supporters today included ten Senate converts who had not supported cap-and-trade legislation in prior votes in 2003 and 2005. The number of senators opposing serious global warming legislation has plummeted to an all time low of 36.
How could any senator vote against advancing debate on global warming legislation? What were they thinking? If we don’t tackle climate change soon, it will tackle us. It’s that simple. Climate change is threatening our national security, our economy and the natural resources all Americans depend on.
Every senator who voted against a continued debate on the Climate Security Act voted against investing in a clean energy future that will energize our struggling economy, voted against safeguarding our families and voted against protecting and restoring America’s natural resources. Complaints about procedure should be taken for what they are – lame excuses to dodge the obstructionist label so richly deserved by senators who voted with the Senate Republican leadership’s stonewalling tactics.
Today’s vote was just round one, with the results vital to our plans for passing strong global warming legislation next year. We now know which senators are paying attention to science and listening to the public, and which ones are instead listening to oil companies.
Round two will come when voters have their say in November. And round three will happen in 2009 when we have a new president and a new Congress who will listen to the vast majority of Americans who want real action.