US senators, including Jeff Bingaman (D-NM), John McCain (R-AZ), Olympia Snowe (R-ME) and Debbie Stabenow (D-MI) convened top policy-makers, CEOs and economists to Capitol Hill for a climate event on March 3 to discuss the challenges as well as opportunities that climate change legislation can bring for the US.
Multiple attendees emphasized that economic slow-down should not be an inhibiting factor, but instead is more reason to act now. During the opening session, the former UK Prime Minister, Tony Blair, argued that the leading economic powers around the world now understand the significant risks of climate change and appreciate that the best way to minimize the dangers is by investing in a low-carbon economy.
The US understands that concerns about economic slow-down should only be more reason to implement climate change legislation without delay. Governor Jennifer Granholm stated ‘in Michigan our top priority is growing the economy and creating jobs and that is why comprehensive climate change legislation is important to our state.’
[Interestingly, Sen. Stabenow was a sponsor of this event, even though she has been labelled a 'fence sitter' on passage of a climate change bill by E&E Daily. Unless they recieve significant allowances, rust-belt states like Michigan will be hard hit by tight emissions caps. Her website doesn't show a position on climate change either way -- Andrew]