7:10 p.m. ET on Thursday: Mindy Lubber from CERES is one of the speakers, formerly at EPA; also Brad Figel global director of govt. affairs for Nike formerly at Senate finance committee (holding up a “sustainable shoe” and supposedly wanting to push Congress to pass “meaningful” climate legislation this year); (Rep. John Dingell seems to be late).
7:15 Lubber wants to address global warming right away, says “financial leaders” want this, just like Greenpeace and that sort of group. Building a green economy, Lubber says, is answer to environment and economy. I agree with all of this, but there are no details on desirable legislation or citizen action. I doubt anyone in the room COULD POSSIBLY disagree with anything said, with the possible exception of the claim that a sneaker is sustainable.
7:20 Figel is selling more shoes: they now use a non-greenhouse gas for “air cushions” in shoes.
7:22 Lubber likes Waxman’s climate bill. She doesn’t want the US to show up in Copenhagen without having passed it. She wants a strong bill and soon. Asked about the wisdom of waiting and doing a stronger bill after Copenhagen, she said our hands would be tied in Copenhagen if we don’t pass a bill first. This seems to parallel Obama’s claim that he can’t agree to anything in Copenhagen unless Congress pre-approves a treaty (which is a weird twist on his acceptance of an Iraq treaty made without Congress and his signing-statement claim on treaty power).
7:25 Nike, Gap, Ebay, and lots of other companies listed as the good guys on this. They want Congress to act now.
7:30 No Q&A. Panelists done and off stage. Congressman Dingell now being introduced: has been in Congress since 1955. His wife is here too.
7:33 Politico questioner, Mike Allen I think, asks about healthcare. Dingell says his dad introduced first bill on medicare, but nothing happened until Pres Johnson. Thought that Medicare in ’65 would lead to step 2: national health insurance. But no, nothing serious until Clinton. Clinton let Ira Magaziner lead it, which didn’t help. Bill didn’t come up for months, and insurance company ads were all over tv. But we need it done now for health and economic reasons. The fiercest enemies are fewer now, Dingell says. But note that Dingell has not cosponsored HR 676 and for no apparent reason he just said what a great president Obama is. So, what is he talking about? The “Massachusetts plan”?
7:43 Now Allen turns to climate change. Dingell says we need a shift away from oil for financial as well as environmental reasons. Wants to “do something.” Mentions US Cap. Ran out of time last congress to pass a bill. Dingell supports Waxman-Markey bill. But no details on it. When asked to distinguish a serious from a gradual bill, he declines.
7:51 Now Allen is reading pre-submitted audience questions from cards, so I may not get to ask why he’s not signed onto HR 676.
I think I’ll split.