Sheila McNulty Obama administration finally gives Congress a nudge on climate

When the House of Representatives passed its climate bill, some environmentalists cheered that the US had taken a step in the right direction. Others complained it had not gone far enough, and that the Obama Administration should have been more active in ensuring it had.

Perhaps these latter criticisms explain why Ken Salazar, Secretary of the Interior, is putting pressure on the Senate, warning that the US cannot fully unleash renewable energy’s economic engine unless the Senate puts an upper limit on the emissions of heat-trapping gases that are damaging the environment.

Salazar noted in the comments on Tuesday to the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee that his department stands ready to help:”…with our shoulder to the wheel to contribute to this effort.”

But more is expected of the Obama administration, which made a big show of supporting climate legislation to win the presidency. As Copenhagen meeting in December approaches, this Administration has a brief opportunity to make a difference.

Judging from the challenges ahead in the Senate, Salazar needs to not only  keep up the pointed comments, but perhaps even inflict a bit more pain in the delivery.

Related links:

Crunching the numbers on Waxman-Markey in the Senate (FT Energy Source, 07/07/09)