With every passing month, it gets harder to see the United States's refusal to address the problem of global warming as anything other than craven prostitution to the fossil fuel industry, a betrayal of future generations, and a suicidal commitment to the status quo. The most recent affront came at last month's international talks on climate change in Montreal. Shortly after midnight on December 9, as delegates were hashing out ideas on reducing greenhouse gas emissions, the U.S. -- joined by China, the world's other largest polluter -- threatened to pick up its toys and go home.
By now, the importance of energy legislation must be obvious, especially to those who experienced the August blackout or lost revenue because of it, not to mention the millions who are paying nearly $2 for a gallon of gas and looking ahead anxiously to the winter's heating bills.
In the coming weeks, Congress will finally finish work on the sprawling Energy Act of 2003, which will determine how much you and I pay for energy in the short term, and what direction we pursue in the long term toward a more self-reliant and sustainable energy future.