New Mexico senators lay groundwork for federal global-warming bill

Could the somnolent federal Leviathan finally be waking to the danger heralded so long by state and local Lilliputians? Could that metaphor be more baroque? New Mexico’s senators say they will introduce a bill this spring in the Senate that would mandate action on global warming. Sens. Pete Domenici (R) and Jeff Bingaman (D) — the chair of and top Democrat on the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee, respectively — jointly issued a white paper yesterday listing the outstanding questions they want to answer before drafting their legislation. The bill would be based on a nonbinding resolution the Senate passed last year that supported mandatory, market-based approaches to curbing greenhouse-gas emissions. Even Domenici and Bingaman don’t expect the prospective bill to get far this year in the face of concerted (read: James Inhofe) opposition, say their spokesflacks. But they do hope it will lay the groundwork for future congressional action.