Wednesday, September 14, 2005

I can't breathe in here

Hey, it's not only the states who are taking on environmental challenges. Our very own House has introduced a bill (with bipartisan support, no less) seeking to raise the fuel efficiency of cars from the current 25mpg to 33mpg. Those involved say the bill, if passed, would save up to "2.6 million barrels of oil per day by 2025".

The response from car makers will be interesting. It'll be a bit hard for them to make a credible argument that this is impossible or dangerous or whatever their current excuse will be, as they've recently signed an agreement with Canada regarding reducing greenhouse gas emissions that will cause cars sold their to substantially increase their fuel efficiency to meet the goals for reduction.

In other news about clearing the air, the Senate began held a hearing investigating the federal response to Katrina. Even
Senate Homeland Security Committee chairwoman Susan Collins, a Republican, found the federal response "sluggish". Alas, it didn't last. The clean air, I mean. Later today, Senate Republicans killed the notion of an independent bipartisan panel to investigate. 54 Republicans voted no.

How disgusting. How self-serving, yet short-sighted. Do they really think the American people, as short as our memories may seem, will let this escape without a fight? Do they really think we think so little of our poor underprivileged people currently enjoying Houston hospitality (still can't quite get over that comment, Babs) that we'll let this go?

Apparently the Republicans have deigned to suggest an independent investigation led by a Republican majority. But Harry Reid nixed it. Good. Clearly can't trust 'em on this topic.

Fortunately, the prevailing thought is that momentum will build and the Senate will have to revisit this. I hope so, even if we have to drag the Republicans kicking and screaming to it. Bush "taking responsibility" clearly isn't enough, with all that is still going wrong and all that is still not happening to help "those people".

You'd think he (Dubya) could at least bring himself to say something different. Like "our people" or "us" or something a bit more inclusive. He could make an effort to sound like he isn't a million miles away from those suffering. Even if he is.

Until tomorrow,


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