Waxman’s Safe Climate Act

Well whaddaya know There’s life in Congress, or at least in California. This, at least, is the conclusion we draw from Rep. Henry Waxman’s Safe Climate Act. Of course it doesn’t have a snowball’s chance, at least not yet. But this’ll change if the scientists, as seems likely, continue their barrage of bad news. Note that the Safe Climate Act:

* Actually defines a meaningful emissions reduction trajectory! “Beginning in 2011, it cuts emissions by roughly 2% per year, reaching 1990 emissions levels by 2020. After 2020, it cuts emissions by roughly 5% per year. By 2050, emissions will be 80% lower than in 1990.”

* Emphasizes the auctioning of permits, rather than their give-away to existing emitters, and establishes a “Climate Reinvestment Fund” by which the proceeds from the auctions could be used to maximize “the public benefit and promoting economic growth, including supporting technology research and development, compensating consumers for any energy cost increases, providing transition assistance for affected workers and regions, and protecting against harm from climate change, such as safeguarding water supplies, protecting against hurricanes, and mitigating harm to fish and wildlife habitat.”

Not perfect, but a hell of a lot better than some of the other trail balloons now floating out of Washington.