U.S. Capitol Building
U.S. Capitol Building - 
Listen To The Story


MARK AUSTIN THOMAS: When the Democrats captured both the House and Senate this month, environmentalists whooped and cheered. But just how green will this new Congress be? The Democrats have the slimmest of majorities in the Senate and the President still has veto power. From the Marketplace Sustainability Desk, Sarah Gardner reports.

SARAH GARDNER: Democratic committee leaders promise to hold hearings on global warming and several senators, including Republican John McCain, say they'll push legislation to cap U.S. greenhouse gas emissions.

But the Sierra Club's David Willett isn't holding his breath.

DAVID WILLETT: "I don't think we're going to see a major shift in how the U.S. federal government has dealt with global warming with George Bush still in the White House."

Tougher fuel-economy standards will be a political stretch as well. So what green proposals could the new Congress pass?

Anna Aurilio at U.S. Public Interest Research Group believes this one has legs: rolling back the financial relief oil companies got in last year's Energy Act.

ANNA AURILIO:"I think people will find it very, very hard to say no, in fact, big oil shouldn't have to pay its fair share of taxes."

The new Congress may also pass more tax incentives for renewable fuels.

I'm Sarah Gardner for Marketplace.

Follow Sarah Gardner at @RadioGardner