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The Big Green Moment
Rep. Ed Markey, D-Mass., right, accompanied by Rep. Nick Lampson, D-Texas, center, and Rep. Rahm Emmanuel, D-Ill., left, gestures during a news conference on Capitol Hill in Washington, Thursday, July 24, 2008, following a House vote on a bill to deploy light crude oil from the Strategic Petroleum Reserve. (AP)

Rep. Ed Markey, D-Mass., right, is sponsoring a bill to address climate change. White House chief of staff Rahm Emmanuel stands to the far left. (AP)

Starting today, Congress takes its first real look at capping carbon emissions.

It’s spurred on by some major momentum in the EPA and the looming deadline of a world climate conference in Copenhagen this December.

But Republicans, big business, and some Democrats are leading a strong countermovement and sounding the alarm about the costs and feasibility, especially in this economy.

This Hour, On Point: top environmental journalists, writer Bill McKibben and Congressman Ed Markey take stock of this big, green moment.

You can join the conversation. Do you support swift action to address climate change? Or are you worried that this effort could hurt the American economy? Tell us what you think — here on this page, on Twitter, and on Facebook.

Guests:

Rep. Edward Markey (D-Mass.) is Chair of the Energy and Environment Subcommittee and co-author, with Energy and Commerce Committee Chairman Henry Waxman, of “The American Clean Energy and Security Act of 2009.” They’re holding hearings for the bill this week.

Juliet Eilperin, national environmental reporter for the Washington Post. She’s written recently about the paradoxes of the clean energy push.

Elizabeth Kolbert, staff writer for The New Yorker, where she writes extensively on climate change. She’s also the author of “Field Notes from a Catastrophe: Man, Nature, and Climate Change.” She has a new piece on the origins of Earth Day.

Bill McKibben is an environmentalist, writer, and activist. He’s currently scholar-in-residence at Middlebury College. Here’s some video of Bill rallying the grassroots.

More links:

The Wall Street Journal’s Keith Johnson has a good backgrounder on the EPA’s decision to declare carbon dioxide a pollutant. The New Republic’s Bradford Plumer thinks the EPA decision is not ideal, but there are few good options. And the New York Times’ Tom Friedman is worried about the complexity of cap-and-trade and advocates a simple carbon tax.

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