Wednesday, November 18, 2009

How important is climate change issue to United States?

Many of you probably still remember how Obama during elections promised that climate change issue will be top priority for United States if he was to be elected as the new president of United States. He is now the president, and despite his visible efforts to give climate change issue more political importance lately it seems like climate change issue is more and more slipping on U.S. political agenda, and the worst part is that crucial international climate talks are only couple of weeks away. Some reports are even suggesting that climate deal has slipped so far down on U.S. political agenda that serious climate talks will have to wait until after the 2010 elections.

Health care reform and post recession problems are still two top political issues in United States while climate change bill looks to be down on the list. The worst fact in this whole story is that it will be much more difficult passing this bill as the elections will draw closer because politicians are at that time scared to do anything that may seem too radical to voters, so we even might not see climate bill before 2011.

Democrats from industrial states are still not totally convinced about new climate deal since they also feel that climate bill could do great damage to U.S. industry that has just started its recovery from one of the worst recessions in history. Senator Kerry, who has become the lead negotiator on climate change, still thinks that a deal could be made by Christmas but many feel that this is not possible given current political condition in United States.

So far, only the Energy and Natural Resources Committee has passed a climate bill, and in order to set a date to mark up climate legislation at least two more committees are needed. At the head of several of these committees are Democrats from industrial states that still hesitate to fully accept cap-and-trade climate bill.

As you can see climate change issue, despite having more importance compared to Bush days still doesn't look to be top political issue in United States. Health care issue, and fears from industrial sector are pushing climate change bill further and further down the pecking order. Even Obama is lately not talking much about new climate bill as he used to not so long ago. The next couple of weeks will be very interesting.

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