The details about legislation being introduced to address global warming reached the pages of national newspapers today.

Different politicians have differing ideas on how to reduce our emissions of the greenhouse gases that are fueling global warming. (Greenhouse gases such as carbon dioxide and methane allow the sun’s light to radiate in but as we increasingly release them they trap more of the sun’s heat.)

The Los Angeles Times examines the differing bills that are proposed to address the problem. Sens. Barbara Boxer and Dianne Feinstein have each signed on to different ideas.

The LAT says:

California’s two senators this week offered markedly different approaches to slowing global warming, with Dianne Feinstein saying she may move to exempt power companies from her home state’s landmark global warming laws and bring them under federal regulation instead.

Under the clause, power plants would be exempt from any state laws regulating greenhouse gases, including several in New England as well as California. Feinstein said she had removed [that provision] for now because “I know the environmentalists have concern.”

The bill she introduced, which deals just with the electricity sector, calls for a market-based cap and trade system. The bill would ratchet down electricity sector emissions 25% below projected levels by 2020.

Sen. Barbara Boxer, in contrast, has signed onto a bill introduced Tuesday that covers a wider spectrum of greenhouse gas sources, including motor vehicles, and would reduce U.S. emissions to 1990 levels by 2020 and to 80% below 1990 levels by 2050. The 2050 goal goes beyond what Feinstein’s legislation calls for. The Boxer bill has no mandatory cap and trade program.

The New York Times takes a broader look at the bills and how significant it is they’re being seriously discussed in Congress, which has so far not addressed climate change.

The Times story tells us:

Legislation to control global warming that once had a passionate but quixotic ring to it is now serious business. Congressional Democrats are increasingly determined to wrest control of the issue from the White House and impose the mandatory controls on carbon dioxide emissions that most smokestack industries have long opposed.

Four major Democratic bills have been announced, with more expected. One of these measures, or a blend of them, stands an excellent chance of passage in this Congress or the next, industry and environmental lobbyists said in interviews.

Many events have combined to create the new direction — forsythia blooming in lawmakers’ gardens in January, polar bears lacking the ice they need to hunt and Al Gore’s movie, “An Inconvenient Truth,” along with pragmatic executives seeking an idea of future costs and, especially, the arrival of a Democratic-controlled Congress. There was evidence of the changed mood all over Washington this week.

ROB DAVIS

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