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Heads in the sand….

Republicans boycotted a Senate committee hearing today on a major bill to reduce emissions of greenhouse gases that contribute to climate change.

So, my question is, why would any political party that is trying to regain credibility heap ridicule upon itself by boycotting efforts to address one of the greatest problems threatening life on this planet in the short term?

One of the seven Republicans on the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee, Senator George Voinovich of Ohio, showed up at the panel’s opening session and then left the meeting after delivering an opening statement. Voinovich asked the committee to hold off its debate until receiving a full Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) analysis of the climate change bill. Senator Barbara Boxer, D-California, responded that the panel has held dozens of hearings on the issue and that she had taken the unprecedented step of scheduling a session with EPA experts later today to answer any questions from committee members. Boxer also said that Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nevada, has promised the full EPA analysis before the bill comes before the entire Senate.

Not all Republicans have their heads in the sand. California Governor, Arnold Schwarzenegger, called the SECOND Governors’ Global Climate Summit in Los Angeles in October. However, just as I said of the Democratic Assembly Speaker, Karen Bass (D-Los Angeles) when she boycotted a California BUDGET session at the STATE level, those U.S. Senators who “are not part of the solution” are part of the problem. Both parties deserve “equal time” for criticism for irresponsible actions.

Senate Republicans, and others who would delay consideration of vitally important legislation by “hiding,” are further damaging their own images.

As the unofficial “Poet Laureate” of my generation, Bob Dylan, once wrote:

“Come senators, congressmen

Please heed the call

Don’t stand in the doorway

Don’t block up the hall

For he that gets hurt

Will be he who has stalled”

-Bob Dylan, “The Times They Are A-Changin‘”

I think that those who attempt to stall the consideration of vitally important climate-change legislation will be hurt politically by their delays.

There is precious little time to waste on politics. The electorate is not amused.

-Bill at Cheshire Cat Photo™

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