Introducing Congressman Jay Inslee with an Environmental Victory


Climate Progress is happy to introduce Rep. Jay Inslee (D-WA) as the latest guest blogger. Jay has long been a leader on energy and climate issues (his full bio is here). In March, he was appointed to the 15-member Select Committee on Energy Independence and Global Warming. He has a forthcoming book on climate solutions with Center for American Progress Senior Fellow Bracken Hendricks — Apollo’s Fire: Igniting America’s Clean Energy Economy. I’ve known Jay since we appeared on a panel together in January 2007. He is uniquely qualified to provide an insider’s view on climate issues. Welcome, Jay!

We lost a battle but won a war against the Bush Administration’s refusal to address global warming on Tuesday. The battle means little. The war could mean a lot.

As a congressman from Seattle, I joined Senator John Kerry (D-MA) and other plaintiffs in supporting a lawsuit to force the Administration to issue the statutorily required national scientific assessment of global warming. Tuesday, Federal District court Judge Sandra Brown Armstrong ordered the Administration to comply with its legal duty to provide the American people a full and fair assessment of the science underpinning this national threat, as the law requires.

For an administration bound and determined to ignore the clear science of global warming, this is a traumatic event. For America, it is a long overdue win for the environment — and our grandchildren. In its ruling, the court held that Senator Kerry and I would not become parties to the case because we have access to a congressional remedy unlike the other plaintiffs. Since we obtained the result we desired, we can consider it a total victory nonetheless.

This does not mean that we are out of the woods yet, of course. The President’s outright refusal to accept a cap and trade system for carbon dioxide is a major hurdle to an effective global warming strategy. But this ruling means President Bush will not be able to argue that there are no costs to America for his policy of rank indifference to this major threat. In short, he may still be able to run, but he cannot hide.

It is about time the Administration is required to follow science rather than their political allies. This legal ruling means that we are one step forward in being able to require them to do just that.


3 Responses to Introducing Congressman Jay Inslee with an Environmental Victory

  1. Steve E. says:

    Welcome, Congressman Inslee, and congratulations.

    This is a rather simple, perhaps even naive question, but has anyone introduced a bill with a single, blunt purpose — the prohibition upon the building of any new “dirty coal” power plants anywhere in the United States?

    If not, why not?


  2. David D. says:

    Agreed Steve. I will take it one step further. Mr. Inslee, if global warming is going to destroy the planet. If seas are going to rise 20-plus feet in decades. If vast droughts and floods are going to destroy our country, then whe need to within 5 years shutdown all coal power plants. After all we have less then 10 years before we are at a point of no return. Why aren’t we forcing people to purchase hybrids before it’s too late. Oh and force us all to convert to energy saving light bulbs…Perhaps we could enforce scheduled black outs to save power or allow people to only drive on certain days of the week.

    Come on, if you are serious about global warming and it is that serious we need to make major changes NOW. According to Gore and some of his supporting scientists we now have less then 10 years. The reality is you really don’t believe in the hype of global warming but you do believe in tax increases and you do want the support of these alarmists.

    People who support man-made global warming whine about terrible storms, horrible floods, miserable droughts – as if this planet has never experienced any of these catastrophes. This reminds me when news outlets reported that New Orleans was experiencing crime after hurricane katrina – as if before hurricane katrina new orleans was a peaceful crime-free city. It was one of the most corrupt, crime-infested city in the United States.

  3. Dear Jay, I am concerned about the Copennhagen treaty and its impact on US sovereignty. I strongly urge you to advise senators Murray and Cantwell to vote against ratifying this treaty.