Sanity actually ruled today in the halls of Congress, for a pleasant change.
As The Bee's editorial board pointed out Sunday, some in Congress are attempting to block measures that would improve vehicle fuel economy and thus reduce pressure to expand offshore oil drilling -- even as oil gushes into the Gulf of Mexico day after day.
Thankfully, today the U.S. Senate, by a vote of 53-47, rejected a motion to consider a resolution by Sen. Lisa Murkowski, an Alaska Republican, that would roll back the Environmental Protection Agency's authority to regulate greenhouse gases and implement a version of California's "clean cars" law.
Sen. Dianne Feinstein, a California Democrat, applauded the vote, saying it would be "malfeasance" to stop the EPA from protecting the public from air pollution.
"California has two of the worst non-attainment regions in the country: the South Coast basin, including Los Angeles, and the San Joaquin Valley," she said on the Senate floor.
"Experts tell us, combined, ozone and particulate matter contribute to up to 14,000 deaths and $71 billion in health care costs every year. Roughly 2.5 million Californians suffer from asthma - and it's increasing - and other air pollution related illnesses. So this is a matter of saving lives. It is a matter of major health concern and welfare, and it should be looked at that way.
"If temperatures rise as projected, these two regions of our country could see 75 percent to 85 percent more days with warming-related smog and ozone pollution. This means more asthma, more lung-related disease, more premature death from air pollution," Feinstein said.
"These scientific observations are not political statements, they are facts established by scientific study after study. Yet the resolution offered today would reject this evidence."
UPDATE: Sen. Barbara Boxer, a California Democrat, also opposed the resolution on the floor.
"Today I am proud that the Senate took a stand on the side of America's families, clean energy jobs and national security," she said in a statement after the vote. "Senators held firm against Big Oil and refused to overturn the scientific and health finding that is the foundation of a brighter future for America."