What's hot in DC - besides the weather?

This is a post by Daisy Pistey-Lyhne, ACE's Policy Liaison and Regional Managing Educator in Washington, D.C.

Welcome to the first edition of Heating Up the Capitol, our new blog series! We all know it's blazing hot in DC right now -- but it turns our our senators are worked up about more than just the temp outside.

There’s a lot in the news about climate and energy policy and reducing our nation’s dependence on dirty fuels. And from what we hear, our Senators and our President are hunkering down RIGHT NOW to try and figure out what type of bill they can pass this summer.

As ACE’s Senior Educator and Policy Liaison in our nation’s capital, I'll give you the inside scoop on what our leaders are up to -- and how we can all help. We'll bring you the latest and greatest news on what your elected leaders are (or aren't) doing to address climate change and I’ll be taking it to the streets to talk to elected officials in the hallways of Congress, sharing photos and video.

Summer of Climate Love

This summer is a big one on the climate front once again again in Washington, DC. I say once again because it won't be the first time - but it may be the first time we get something done!

Back in spring of 2009, the House of Representatives passed a climate bill that would limit the amount of greenhouse gases that companies could emit - capping the pollution that’s heating the planet, and creating a plan for our country to reduce our emissions in the decades to come. This bill, known as the American Clean Energy and Security Act (ACES), then got passed to the Senate but it stalled.

Throughout the spring, a host of Senators have had different ideas about how to get our country on track for a cleaner, more secure energy future. In the coming weeks, I’ll explain these bills and what they mean. I’ll translate the jargon and help you understand what’s really being discussed - so stay tuned!

The latest news today, Tuesday June 28th:

President Obama is hosting a climate and energy policy summit - bringing more than 23 Republican and Democratic Senators together to hash out possible solutions to lower America’s emissions and increase clean energy sources.

I wish I could be a fly on the wall of that meeting - it’s going to be pretty action packed! This meeting is the kick-off to the Senate’s debates for the summer, leading to a possible vote on a climate bill in August.

Climate bill - what?

Passing a bill is a complicated feat. As you've been schooled in Civics or Gov't, a bill must pass in both the House of Representatives and the Senate, and then be signed by the President, in order to become law. Refresher alert! Check this old school vid from Schoolhouse Rock on how a bill becomes a law:

I'll be talking more about this mysterious "climate bill" in the weeks to come.

What's ahead:

For now, it’s the Senate’s turn to debate and vote on climate legislation -- and senators are gathering for an energy and climate policy summit with President Obama this week, to hash out next steps. Senators from Nevada, Massachusetts, New Mexico, California, Ohio, Michigan, Washington, West Virginia, Delaware, Connecticut, Maine, South Carolina, Arkansas, New Hampshire and Indiana will be there.

Will your senator be there? If the answer is yes, it's worth sending them a note or calling them to let them know you CARE about what happens! Click hereto get your senator's digits.

I hope you keep reading this blog to keep an eye on what the future holds for the climate, energy, and your future! Have an urgent policy problem? A climate conundrum? Perhaps you're just pondering political possibilities? Email me (daisy.pistey-lyhne@climateeducation.org) and I'll get the insider scoop!