There is no doubt that Rep. John Dingell (D – Mich.) is an experienced and honorable member of the U.S. House of Representatives. But that doesn’t mean, as yesterday’s news story suggested, that challenges to the congressman’s chairmanship are unfair and baseless (Dingell to fight for committee chair, 11/19/2008). To a considerable degree, Dingell has been too slow to move on certain environmental issues, and we shouldn’t ignore that. After this election in particular, we should expect the most from our politicians, including a strong stance on all aspects of environmental policy.
In a 2006 interview with the environmental news blog Grist, when asked about whether or not a consensus has been reached on global warming, Dingell said, “This country, this world, the [human] race of which you and I are a part, is great at having consensuses that are in great error. And so I want to get the scientific facts, and find out what the situation is, and find out what is the cure, and find out what is the cure that is acceptable to the country that I represent and serve.” While Dingell has been more than admirable on issues like health care, clean water and commerce, we can’t ignore sentiments like these.
The environment and global warming, in particular, are huge concerns that we must take on now. Dingell and his supporters will argue that we must regulate our environmental policy so as not to destroy the auto industry. Why can’t we regulate auto industry policy so as to not destroy the environment, the well-being of which affects all of us?
The Daily made these sentiments seem unrealistic and off-base. I’m not a member of an environmental group and my dad works for the auto industry. Yet I still think we can ask more of the chair of the House’s Energy and Commerce Committee. So we should.