Miracles indeed can happen. And sometimes do.
Such is the case with enactment of major climate legislation, part of the Inflation Reduction Act now, with President Joe Biden’s signature, enacted. Not just passed by the Senate and the House on strict party-line votes, but passed by each chamber as presented to them, without amendments, without differences requiring a time-consuming and inscrutable House/Senate conference committee. And, it must be emphasized, without a single vote by the Republican narrow minorities in both the House and the Senate
Just a month ago, you’d have not found a single talking head, pundit, highly acknowledged Washington-watcher or anyone else predicting this outcome.
Notwithstanding the somewhat Orwellian nature of its official name, “Inflation Reduction Act,” and the impacts it may or may not have in reducing inflation, its numerous and significant elements addressing the climate change challenge remain front and center. (One wonders if a more literally accurate official name might have cost a few nay votes from the narrow majority.)
The law as enacted – those mere words send a chill – is not, and let’s make this emphatic, “perfect.” Few laws ever are, and this one is no exception. That’s a point on which the most ardent climate “deniers” and the most passionate climate action advocates no doubt agree, of course for different reasons. But time is past for judging this historic legislative accomplishment on the basis of what it doesn’t do; time instead to focus on the expansive reality of what it can and may well do. Judge it by what it is, not by what it isn’t or could have been. [Continue reading…]