Will clean energy jobs be buried alive on Capitol Hill?
As Congress reconvened this week, a subplot in the political coverage of the health care bill has been the health of the climate bill (not the climate mind you; GinaMarie covered that Wednesday). Opponents to clean energy jobs and comprehensive climate legislation, with a little help from the mainstream media and Senator “[s]oh, you know, we are going to have a busy, busy time the rest of this year” Reid, would like you to think that the bill is dead this year.
I’m Not Dead: Climate Bill Analogy found in Monty Python Skit
I don’t think you will be dating yourself by thinking of this now-cult-classic Monty Python skit from the Holy Grail:
The Dead Collector (mainstream media?): Bring out yer dead!
Large Man with “Dead” Body (clean energy opponents): Here’s one.
The Dead Collector: That’ll be ninepence.
The Not Dead Body (clean energy jobs and climate bill?): I’m not dead.
The Dead Collector: What?
Large Man with “Dead” Body: Nothing. There’s your ninepence.
Now, we can’t really blame the mainstream media for asking the question; that’s their job. But the champions of clean energy jobs legislation and the president haven’t yet scheduled the memorial service. Senators Kerry and Boxer are still in the middle of drafting a bill to answer President Obama’s call for legislation that “places a market-based cap on carbon pollution and drives the production of more renewable energy in America.” Such a bill would create jobs, cut air and water pollution, help prevent catastrophic climate change, and, in the president’s words, “make clean, renewable energy the profitable kind of energy.”
President Obama brings up clean energy at the health care reform rally in College Park, MD on Thursday
I promised to be president who would build a better future, who would move this nation forward. Who would ensure that this generation, your generation would have the same chances and opportunities that our parents gave us. That’s what I’m here to do. That’s why I ran for president of the United States of America… Part of that promise is an economy that leads the world in science, and technology, and innovation. Part of that promise is a clean energy revolution that protects our planet, protects our security, creates jobs of the future right here in the United States of America.
Now the president isn’t going to be able to deliver a revolution on his own. And that word choice is probably not accidental. Even in the face of dramatic opposition from polluters and dishonest tactics by their operatives, the House of Representatives did their part this summer by passing the American Clean Energy and Security Act. Now that the debate has moved to the Senate, the stakes are even higher.
Let’s not let a clean air, clean water, and clean energy jobs bill meet the same fate as the Not Dead Body in the Monty Python skit:
The Not Dead Body: I think I’ll go for a walk.
Large Man with “Dead” Body: You’re not fooling anyone, you know. [To the Dead Collector] Isn’t there anything you could do?
The Not Dead Body: I feel happy. I feel happy.
[the Dead Collector glances up and down the street furtively, then silences the Body with his a whack of his club]
Large Man with “Dead” Body: Ah, thank you very much.
The Dead Collector: Not at all. See you on Thursday.
We know from polls that Americans support clean energy and environmental protection, but we may have been a bit distracted by the political hullabaloo created by the opponents of reform. Unfortunately, that distraction may threaten the comprehensive climate and energy legislation.
When the Dead Collector looks around this fall, will he see you standing up for the environment?
United States Capitol photo by Jennifer Mueller