In a major shift in policy, three major energy lobbying groups -- the Edison Electric Institute, the American Gas Association, and the Electric Power Supply Association -- have reversed their position and now support compulsory controls on their carbon emissions. Members of the largest group, the Edison Institute, are responsible for 60 percent of the nation's electricity.
The good news is that this is a sure sign that there will soon be global warming legislation passed by Congress. The bad news is that there will be enormous pressure for a watered down bill that will preempt more meaningful state action.
An article in the Wall Street Journal indicates that the groups' shift in policy was a pragmatic decision to ensure they have places at the table when inevitable national policy on climate change is developed. The American Gas Association, which was publicly against any federal climate change legislation and that represents 200 utilities that distribute natural gas, reportedly "reversed itself because of growing signs that Congress could pass mandatory controls."
Let's see -- if I was one of Dick Cheney's duck hunting buddies would I want a law that I could control now, or take a chance with a unknown Democrat or Republican like John McCain?