As it struggles with the issue of a national cap on greenhouse gases, the Republican leadership is looking at similar efforts at the state level "to get a sense of what works and what doesn't," according to GOP Rep. James Sensenbrenner, ranking member of the House Select Committee on Energy Independence and Global Warming.
In a hearing today featuring Govs. Janet Napolitano of Arizona and Eliot Spitzer of New York, Sensenbrenner called states and cities a laboratory for such efforts.
"Unfortunately, I believe some of what I learn from the cities and state will be what not to do, especially when it comes to using regulations to address global warming," Sensenbrenner said. Sensenbrenner is a leading critic of efforts to cap greenhouse gases without forcing developing nations to do the same.
"In the end," he said, "the question for our committee will not only be whether New York or Arizona lowered their emissions but whether they also lowered their standards of living in an effort to do so."