In his big press conference Thursday on the ongoing Gulf disaster, Obama finally decided to put the oil spill in the context of broader energy reform and spent a few brief seconds asking the Senate to pass climate legislation. It wasn't the most rousing plea ever, but at least it's a start.
Still, as Dave Roberts points out in this post, a big climate bill isn't the only way for the United States to start curbing its oil use. There are all sorts of smaller initiatives bobbing around Congress right now—from reducing industry tax breaks to putting money toward electric-car pilot projects—that would nudge the country in the right direction. By themselves, none of those measures would do enough to address the broader threat of global warming, but there's no logical reason why Congress has to limit itself to a single energy bill. So why not start chipping away at our oil dependency now, while Obama and Reid and Kerry and Lieberman try to cobble together 60 votes for a big climate push?