Think Global: Act, Dingell!
Submitted by murph on 30 August 2007 - 6:01pm. economics | environment | politics
Southeast Michigan is blessed with a political powerhouse in Congressman John Dingell (D-15th), the longest serving member of the House, and the Chairman of the House Committee on Energy and Commerce. Dingell's therefore pretty well placed to Make A Difference when it comes to addressing climate change.
However, as the Congressman from Southeast Michigan, Dingell is also strongly wedded to the auto industry (literally - his wife Debbie is President of the General Motors Foundation). With the Big 3, and their unions - Dingell's largest funders and voter bloc - digging in their heels every step of the way on anything that smells like a fuel efficiency mandate, Dingell is notably hesitant to embrace positive energy legislation. In response to calls for increased CAFE standards, he put forth what was at first a stunt - a proposal for an intentionally unrealistic plan meant to kill debate on the issue by being too sweeping. While the political chessgame aspect of this has received its share of criticism, I think Dingell has also been surprised to see people taking it seriously, and he's now starting to get behind the proposal as a serious attempt to address climate change.
And that's where we come in. Whether you're a Dingell constituent or not, you can show him that you support strong action on climate change. A group of Ypsilanti residents have set up a petition to urge Dingell on, and state their support for action. I've signed the petition, and you can too.