With Democrats returning to power in the House and Senate, political reporters touched on how they felt abused and ignored during their time in the minority. But National Public Radio isn’t treating the Republicans now as a minority. They’re treating them as nonexistent in some stories. On Friday’s Morning Edition broadcast, reporter Elizabeth Shogren assembled an entire story on new Democratic proposals to halt global warming, but there were no Republicans, no energy industry representatives, and no warming skeptics. They only heard new socialist Sen. Bernie Sanders saying "one has got to be a moron" not to be concerned.
No one in the Shogren story was a "liberal" (not to mention a socialist – Sanders was merely described as "independent.") The proposed bills weren’t liberal either, just "aggressive." It was the Bernie Sanders-Barbara Boxer bill versus the Dianne Feinstein bill, which seemed conservative by comparison.
Renee Montagne, host: "Since Democrats took charge in Congress, global warming has become a hot topic. So hot, you might say that the House is creating a special new committee to highlight the problem and senators are introducing one climate change bill after another.NPR's Elizabeth Shogren has more."
Shogren: "Yesterday, she took the unusual step of announcing a new select committee to focus on the issues. And she wants the House to vote on legislation by the Fourth of July."
Shogren: "The Senate is engaging, too. Already senators have introduced three bills to slow greenhouse gas emissions. More are on the way."
Shogren: "Senator Bernie Sanders is an independent from Vermont. He's introduced the most aggressive new bill. He says there's one big reason climate change is getting so much attention."
Sanders: "You know what? It's increasingly becoming good politics. And a lot of people here in Congress who in the past may not have been so concerned about the issue are catching on that people back home want action, and I think they're going to be prepared to vote for strong legislation."
Shogren: "All three bills introduced so far aim to reduce the greenhouse gases emitted from burning fossil fuels. But they go at different paces and target different industries. Sanders' bill applies across the economy to vehicles, power plants and factories. It would cut emissions to 1990 levels by 2020, and then keep going. It has a powerful co-sponsor, California Senator Barbara Boxer.She chairs the committee that's responsible for drafting a bill. But many Democrats say the Sanders-Boxer approach is too abrupt and would harm the economy. Senator Tom Carper is a Democrat from Delaware."
Shogren: "Carper is supporting another bill introduced this week. It was written by California's other Democratic senator, Dianne Feinstein. It focuses on the biggest human source of greenhouse gases - emissions of carbon dioxide, or CO2, from power plants."
Shogren: "The Feinstein bill favors the electricity producers in her state. It would make it more expensive to burn coal, and very little of California's power comes from coal. Feinstein says it's important to reach out to industry."