Tuesday, March 2, 2010

One big fear

I have always argued we ought to be as worried about the aftermath of legislation and getting it through in the first place. Once in place, the key is to win voter acquiescence so that the legislation is resistant to repeal or revocation. California and New Jersey have led the way with biding legislation of greenhouse gas reductions and both are parts of regional cap and trade systems. Now we see the first signs of how these kinds of efforts may get undermined. In California an attempt is being made to put in place a voter initiative to suspend the climate legislation because of unemployment. In New Jersey, Governor Christie has announced plans to divert funds raised by cap and trade auctions to the general fund to deal with the state deficit. These are both shortsighted moves because they undermine the need to render climate legislation sacrosanct – off the table for partisan political jousting – in a way that a few political issues are treated. But achieving that sacrosanct status is really what you need to do for any issue for which you want to win voter acceptance through thick and thin …. something we know we need to gain when it comes to climate legislation since we know it is eventually going to hurt.

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