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Obama and House Committee Shake-Up Signal Sea Change in U.S. Climate Policy

This is a joint posting with Joel Meister
Recent announcements of climate-related transition teams and agency director appointments have provided a wealth of information about the prospects for action on climate change by the Obama White House. Bolstered by changes in the leadership of a crucial House committee, the energy and climate change agenda is likely to be a top legislative priority for the new administration. These changes also suggest that climate policies will affect the strategy for economic recovery, as well as a reorientation of US foreign assistance toward climate-sensitive policies that will yield significant benefits for poor people in developing countries.

Financial Crisis Requires Leadership, Including from Congress on Trade

Congress has one more chance this week to do the right thing and pass the bilateral trade agreement with Colombia (as well as the one with Panama). The New York Times made the same argument in an editorial today, focusing on America's relations with Latin America and the blow to U.S. credibility around the world if it walks away from an agreement negotiated in good faith -- and then renegotiated to meet Democrats concerns in a number of areas after they captured Congress in 2006.