by Peter Freyne
Peter Welch thought he'd be talking mostly about renewable energy at Draker SolarDesign on Burlington's North Street.
He was, after all, kicking off a week-long "energy tour" around the state he represents in Washington D.C. to promote the growth of renewable/alternative energy businesses in the Green Mountains.
But last week's U.S. House vote on continued funding for the Iraq War - with a deadline for pulling out - and the Monday morning 5-4 U.S. Supreme Court decision saying the EPA actually can regulate the carbon dioxide pouring out of our car/truck/SUV tailpipes took precedence.
The automobile industry doesn't run the entire world anymore!!!
Why should we care about the U.S. Supreme Court decision?
Replied the Democratic Congressman from Vermont:
"It means we’re going to have a fighting chance to get the Environmental Protection Agency to protect the environment and our health. It took a Supreme Court decision to say that carbon pollution was bad for your health and therefore could be regulated.
"It's quite astonishing that the Bush administration resisted this. It's consistent with what has been their approach on global warming which is to deny that it existed, then reluctantly acknowledge that it does exist."
"And it's a tremendous opportunity for us to get focused on addressing what is the issue of our time and it is global warming."
"And the opposition is right! We’ve got to end that war. If I had had a vote we never would have gone to war.
"If I had the bill passed that I want, we’d be out of that war yesterday. But here’s the question: Every decision I make on the war is based on will that decision accelerate and hasten the day when we end the war, or will it delay it?
"We had to get 218 votes to pass something in the House. The Senate had to get 50 votes. The question is - are you going to make the 'unattainable perfect' be the enemy of the 'barely achievable good?'"
Were this Merry Olde England, or even modern Great Britain, the government in such a parliamentary system, noted Welch, would have fallen twice by now.
“We have a federal system where the President of the United States has independent authority over the war. And we’ve got a tough adversary in President Bush. This is a man who’s willing to go down with the ship and take everybody with him on his Iraq Policy.
"My goal is to take concrete constructive steps to end this war as soon as we possibly can. This is doing real damage to our country.”