As too often in the past, the opposing lines are clearly drawn: President Obama vs. Congress on the environment http://nyti.ms/1GukQ2F. Enough, already!
True, people can differ strongly about major issues such as environmental controls. And in a democratic system with representative government, their elected officials have a responsibility to reflect those views. But eventually progress and the common interest require some kind of dual movement toward the middle.
This optimal political process is about to be tested once more in Washington D.C. on the needed updating of how to further implement key environmental legislation including The Clean Water Act, The Clean Air Act, The Endangered Species Act and even the 1906 Antiquities Act (re natural resources).
Responsible environmental stewardship is, of source, subjective. But there’s some hope in the way a responsible — and successful member of Congress — once explained his voting process: “In debate, I will always represent the point of view of the majority of the people who elected me. But I will also always listen attentively to all the arguments presented in the common interest. And if I’m convinced that there is a better argument than mine, I will support it and risk that I can explain that to my constituents. If I fail in that, I will not likely be re-elected. I accept that.”
Lest this all be seen as totally naïve, consider new “strange bedfellows” recently finding common interest:
A rare major bipartisan alliance in the U.S. Congress is now supporting “fast-track” consideration of the proposed historic Trans Pacific Partnership.
After much debate, a political compromise has just been reached on the power of the National Security Agency as it relates to sweeping collection of private telephone records.
In the private sector, five major fossil fuel companies last week “came over” to the position of many environmentalists by endorsing a carbon tax.
Moderates of the world, unite!