Something remarkable occurred this week at the U.S. Supreme Court. Lawyers for the Bush administration argued that the federal government lacks the power to reduce emissions that cause global warming.
Think about that. Usually the federal government is eager to defend and expand its reach. But global warming? Nah. On this issue, President Bush refuses to assert himself. Apparently, the president just wants to “stay the course” and deny the threat posed by a warming planet.
California has a big dog in this fight. Consider our water supply. As the planet warms, more of our Sierra precipitation will fall as rain instead of snow. That will mean more winter flooding in Sacramento, and less summer water for farms and cities.
California has joined 11 other states in urging the federal government to address this threat, and devise an energy policy that makes us less dependent on fossil fuels. It is commendable our state is leading this fight. But what’s truly amazing is that we have to fight this fight in the first place.
Stuart Leavenworth writes for the Sacramento Bee Opinion pages.