New York, June 29, 2009
– The House of Representatives has passed a major environmental bill that supporters said could reduce greenhouse gases and global warming. Michael Gerrard
, Director of the Center for Climate Change Law at Columbia Law School, praised the measure even though it falls short of what environmentalists had sought.
“There were considerable compromises reached and maybe many more will be made before it makes it to the Senate,” he said of the legislation that was passed Friday.
Gerrard also offered these thoughts on the bill, which now goes to the Senate.
“I do believe a weak bill is better than no bill.”
“I consider it a very big deal and I think most people are surprised where we were four or five months ago to achieve passage today.”
“I think the opponents felt a couple of weeks ago that they would be able to defeat it, but that didn’t work.”
“I think today’s vote establishes a good deal of momentum. There’s a head of steam, hopefully, wind- and solar-generated steam.”
Regarding the importance of having a bill signed before the next international summit on climate change, scheduled for December in Copenhagen: “I think it gives President Obama much more leverage and authority than he’d have without any legislation in place.”
Columbia Law School
, founded in 1858, stands at the forefront of legal education and of the law in a global society. Columbia Law School joins traditional strengths in international and comparative law, constitutional law, administrative law, business law and human rights law with pioneering work in the areas of intellectual property, digital technology, sexuality and gender, criminal, and environmental law.