02/09/2009 05:12 am ET Updated May 25, 2011

The House Must Act Now on Cap-and-Trade Legislation

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) said this week that she has enough votes to pass cap-and-trade legislation aimed at curbing the effects of global warming, but would not commit to holding a vote in 2009. Speaking to reporters on Monday, Pelosi said she has backing in the Democratic-controlled House to move a cap-and-trade bill, but will not force the issue. When Congressman Ed Markey, since identified as the new Chairman of the new Subcommittee on Energy and the Environment in the Energy and Commerce Committee, was approached on timing, he said "to be determined."

People close to Pelosi and Markey told me not to read too much into the remarks -- they said the stimulus is the priority now, and Congress is waiting for the nod from the incoming President on timing. But as Speaker Pelosi and Representative Markey know better than most, we need leadership now! It will never be easy. If we wait, passing legislation that will solve our climate and energy problems will only get harder. Solving the greatest threat to the planet must be the priority. The time is now. We need to push bold solutions and cannot compromise before Congress has even started doing anything to try to repower, refuel and rebuild. We have a committed president-elect with brilliant climate advisors. We have a House leader with a history of commitment to this issue from a district that is well educated on global warming's dangers.

In addition to bold action by Speaker Pelosi, we are urging House Energy and Commerce Chairman Henry Waxman (D-Calif.) to take the lead in 2009 on a climate bill. 1Sky has over 350 organizational allies nationwide, will be funding 25 organizers spanning twenty states this year, and has already recruited voluntary Climate Precinct Captains in over 150 Congressional districts. We are amassing ground troops. We're ready. We need Congress to lead. This is never going to be an easy lift. But it needs to be done now. We have decades of polluting to make up for and no time to lose -- with catastrophic impacts looming and a clean, green economy to embrace in the face of our worst recession in decades.

Meanwhile, Energy and Commerce Committee ranking member and fossil fuel fan Senator James Inhofe (R-Okla.) was quoted on Monday as saying that the folks who want us dependent on oil and coal forever think the momentum is on their side. Let's prove them wrong. Sign up to become a Climate Precinct Captain now!