Just a few weeks ago the conservative majority of our nation's Supreme Court said that it is up to Congress to authorize what it described as a "seemingly sensible solution" to the fact that our planet is quite literally melting before our eyes as a result of our greenhouse gas supercharged climate.
Yesterday the President of the United States committed that the Executive Branch will do everything it can to address our climate emergency in the face of Congress's dereliction of its duty and the limits on the Executive Branch's power set by the current Supreme Court.
But our federal government can't effectively tackle the biggest challenges of our day with one of its three arms tied behind its back.
Now that the conservatives on our nation's highest court and the President agree on the problem, we need to get to the solution.
Hopefully stakeholders and the media will bear down on why Congress is unable to agree on any legislation to encourage our transition to renewable energy and make ourselves more resilient to the climate change that is already occurring. Not agreeing on every aspect of the Green New Deal is one thing but we need a Congress that can agree on something.
To pick just one example, permitting an off shore wind energy project currently takes too many years and then, once every federal and state permit is in hand, protracted litigation is nearly a certainty. The Vineyard Wind project appropriately lauded by President Biden yesterday is a perfect example of the patience, and deep pockets, necessary to endure the permitting process and litigation that ensues if and when permitting is finally completed.
Why can't Congress agree on legislation that would streamline the permitting of all infrastructure projects and make it harder to delay permitted projects through NIMBY litigation. If Congress can't at least do that, we're in trouble!
Biden during his remarks alluded to Capitol Hill roadblocks to his climate agenda, noting that “not a single Republican in Congress stepped up to support my climate plan, not one.” But he also delivered a call to multiple parties -- governors, mayors, state agency heads, utility commissioners, electric utilities and developers to “stand up and be part of the solution. Don’t be a road block.” He also re-emphasized his ongoing appeal for action on climate to boost the competitiveness of American industry. “We all have a duty right now to our economy, to our competitiveness in the world, the young people of this nation and to future generations.”