1. Henry Waxman and Ed Markey « The Washington Independent
I know, it’s cheating to name two people as the most influential climate actor of the year, but when it came to cap-and-trade legislation, the Tweedledum and Tweedledee of the House Energy and Commerce Committee truly acted as one. With the American Clean Energy and Security Act, Waxman and Markey authored the most important piece of environmental legislation ever to be passed by a house of Congress. Together, they shepherded the Waxman-Markey bill through the relatively conservative and fossil-fueled Energy and Commerce Committee, clearing the way for passage by the full House on June 26. Sure, the legislation’s taken its lumps from both the right (see Wacky-Marxist) and the left (thanks, Collin Peterson), and the battle ahead in the Senate is formidable indeed, but once the dust settles, Waxman and Markey will have left an indelible stamp on the country’s environmental history.