WASHINGTON, D.C. - Asked to name his most formative Washington experience, Thomas Kuhn comes back with a quick reply: the Clean Air Act. Kuhn, the chief executive of the Edison Electric Institute, the electric utilities trade group, remembers the tumult that accompanied the passage of that 1990 law.
"Some of the toughest battles in Washington are the environmental battles," says Kuhn.
And judging by some of the rhetoric flying around Washington this week, more of such battles loom. "Global warming, I believe, is the number one environmental challenge," Sen. Dianne Feinstein, D-Calif., told a crowd of several hundred who gathered on Wednesday for the United States Energy Association's and Johnson Controls' annual Energy Efficiency Forum. "We have to choose our energy future," added colleague Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton, D-N.Y. "We can't just stumble along and expect everything to work out."