Wednesday, November 15, 2006

Democrats to elevate global warming, other environmental issues

Happy day.

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Democrats who will steer environment issues in the new Congress are polar opposites of their Republican predecessors, but changing environmental policy is like turning around an aircraft carrier — it's very slow.

Sen. Barbara Boxer, a liberal California Democrat and one of the biggest environmental advocates on Capitol Hill, was named Tuesday to chair the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee. She replaces Oklahoma Republican James Inhofe, who says global warming is a hoax and wanted to abolish the Environmental Protection Agency established by President Richard Nixon.

Read the proceeding paragraph again. It feels real good. Savor it.

And bye, bye to Richard Pombo, a guy who was all for drilling the oceans, selling the parks, threatening the critters, and stuffing a bunch of money in his pocket, all at the same time.

On the House side, the approach to endangered species and opening public lands to private development will do an about-face with Rep. Nick Rahall, D-W.Va., expected to take over the House Resources Committee. He would replace GOP Rep. Richard Pombo, a California rancher, defeated for re-election last week after environmentalists spent nearly $2 million against him.

"Our long national nightmare is close to being over," said Philip Clapp, president of the National Environmental Trust, paraphrasing Gerald Ford on assuming the presidency after Nixon's resignation over Watergate.

Our girl Nancy will be looking at the oil companies, and Dingell will check out Cheney's sweetheart deals.

Energy companies will likely be put on the defensive. Rep. Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., the presumed next speaker of the House, has already promised to repeal oil industry subsidies.

Rep. John Dingell, D-Mich., the likely next chairman of the House Energy and Commerce Committee, plans to investigate Republicans' oil subsidies included in the energy bill Bush signed into law last year. Dingell said he also was interested in revisiting Vice President Dick Cheney's secretive energy task force.

Why do I get the feeling that we have only seen the tip of the iceberg when it comes to the horror that is this administration?

Let the investigations begin.