Aussie Greens' misplaced hope in US
The bill, introduced by chairman of the energy and commerce committee Henry Waxman, stunned climate change proponents with its aggressive call for carbon emissions to be cut by 20 per cent by 2020, from 2005 levels. But it is seen by many in Washington as simply an ambit claim in US climate change legislation stakes.
Moves towards a comprehensive cap and trade system are being blasted by Republicans as a tax increase and senior Democrats and moderate Republicans have been pouring cold water this week on expectations of anything happening this year.
While Australian Greens senator Christine Milne characterised the Waxman bill this week as a sign the US had seized the leadership role and was surpassing countries such as Australia, the reality is very different in the US capital.
"The Democrats' plan to raise energy taxes in the midst of a serious recession is the wrong thing to do and the worst possible time to do it," said Republican leader of the house John Boehner.
Sorry Christine. Back to the drawing board.
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