Climate Change Issue Takes Center Stage

Political and business leaders from the Northwest to Washington, D.C. stepped into the spotlight Thursday on the issue of climate change. Rob Manning reports.

Within hours of each other Wednesday, the Environmental Protection Agency rolled out new greenhouse gas rules, leading Democrats in D.C. announced a Senate bill to deal with climate change – and Nike officials announced a high-profile break with a national business group over global warming.

Nike is vacating its position on the U.S. Chamber of Commerce’s board of directors. Nike supports stronger regulation of carbon dioxide. The Chamber doesn’t.

Later Wednesday, EPA administrator Lisa Jackson said her agency will regulate CO2 and other greenhouse gases.

Lisa Jackson: “Under this new rule, large facilities would be required to adopt the best and most efficient technologies available, when they’re constructed, or when they’re upgraded, helping us significantly reduce greenhouse gases from sectors that account for 70 percent of non-vehicle emissions from U.S. sources.”

Jackson didn’t know what the rule would cost business, or how much carbon it would cut. But she said repeatedly that the EPA isn’t the best place to craft climate change policy.

Oregon senator Jeff Merkley said the same thing yesterday, as he backed a new climate change bill, in the Senate.

Jeff Merkley: “Under the mechanisms under this bill we can far better reduce the overall level of pollution through the trading of allocations, than we can by simply putting a rule on every single smokestack.”

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