NPR reported this morning that China has verbally committed to certain reductions in its carbon emissions but does not want to put anything in writing. The US objects to China's no-written-agreement position.
This is the verbal vs. written dilemma -- which I see people struggling with everyday -- writ-large. Amazing. China is smart not to put anything in writing until they get a better sense of what the US Congress will agree to, but the US Congress won't agree to very much until they see what China has committed to: this is a classic negotiating conundrum.
Meanwhile, a couple of big developments in the US yesterday:
- Joe Lieberman is demanding that the Democrats take the Medicare buy-in (for people at age 55) provision out of the health care bill. It sounds like the Democratic leadership might cave, in order to pick up Lieberman's vote. It's not clear to me why they are viewing him as the crucial 60th vote rather than Susan Collins.
- Exxon announced a purchase yesterday of XTO, which is the third largest natural gas company in the US. This is being cited as evidence of the increasing importance of natural gas in supplying the country's energy needs.