Earlier today, with a vote of 219 to 212, the House of Representatives narrowly passed a bill intended to take a serious look at how we're making the world a hotter place to live.
The vote was the first time either house of Congress had approved a bill meant to curb the heat-trapping gases scientists have linked to climate change. The legislation, which passed despite deep divisions among Democrats, could lead to profound changes in many sectors of the economy, including electric power generation, agriculture, manufacturing and construction.
And from now on, we're going to stop being part of the problem, according to Rep Henry A. Waxman, Democrat of California. "This legislation will break our dependence on foreign oil, make our nation a leader in clean energy jobs and cut global warming pollution," promises the bill's co-sponsor.
Of course, the Europeans aren't that excited (Europeans…). They've set the bar a lot higher and want more, more, more efforts to reduce heat-trapping gas emissions. Except for German chancellor Angela Merkel (bless her), who thinks we're off to a great star. "This really points to the fact that the United States is very serious on climate," she says.
If signed into law, the bill would require that the US cut greenhouse gas emissions by 17% by 2020.