Big green shout outs this week to some folks who’ve tried to do something about the damage America’s cars are doing to the atmosphere, our foreign policy, oceans, urban air quality, open space, pedestrian and bike safety, settlement patterns, commutes … wait, where were we?
Oh, right, green shouts outs! The first goes to Rep. Jerrold “The Nad” Nadler (D-N.Y.) (note: nobody actually calls him The Nad, at least not to his face), who authored an amendment to the economic stimulus bill that restored $3 billion worth of transit funding — yes, the transit funding taken out to make room for tax cuts … which were needed to get Republican votes … except Republicans unanimously voted nay. Anyway, the amendment passed and transit’s back up to $14.6 billion. At least until the Senate gets its hands on it.
The second goes to the tag team of Barack Obama and Lisa Jackson, who announced this week that the EPA would reconsider its Bush-era rejection of California’s request to pursue its (and 13 other states’) ambitious tailpipe emission standards. Oh, and Obama gets a shout out for ordering the Department of Transportation to begin implementing the CAFE (fuel economy) standards boost laid out in the 2007 energy bill — in time to apply to the 2011 auto fleet. What are we, two weeks in? Already this administration has done more for energy efficiency and clean air than the last did in eight years.
Speaking of the past … the far-right remnant did not cover itself in green glory this week. Earning our biggest raspberry is the conservative media from Drudge to Fox, which spent all week giggling and high-fiving itself over the snow that preceded Al Gore’s visit to the Senate on Wednesday. That snow, they told us, “cast doubt” on the reality of global warming. Of course, mistaking weather for climate would get a sixth grade science student sent to the back of the class. But as Obama once said, “it’s like these guys take pride in being ignorant.”
The second tip o’ the bird goes to Rep. Mike Pence (R-Ind.), who in the course of mocking various items in the stimulus bill, said, “What is $400 million for climate change research going to do to put people back to work in Indiana?” Dave Weigel responds: “If they’re climate change researchers, I imagine it’ll, you know, put them to work by funding their research. This is some of the worst spin I’ve ever seen.”
Oh, we imagine you’ll see worse …
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