Contact: Steve Cochran, 202-387-3500
WASHINGTON, DC (January 12, 2007) -- Environmental Defense today enthusiastically welcomed the introduction of a strengthened Lieberman-McCain Climate Stewardship and Innovation Act with an important new co-sponsor.
“Joe Lieberman and John McCain have been working on global warming for a long time and this year’s bill has been significantly strengthened. It’s aggressive in the short term and responsible over the long term. Lieberman and McCain are following the science and they deserve a lot of credit for it,” said Environmental Defense President Fred Krupp.
The legislation is co-sponsored by Senators Olympia Snowe and Barack Obama, who supported the bill in the 109th Congress, and Senator Blanche Lincoln, who is a new co-sponsor. “The addition of Blanche Lincoln demonstrates the incredible momentum behind this issue. Moderates like Lincoln understand how important this is not only for the environment, but for America’s energy security, rural economy, and global economic competitiveness.”
Modeled on the hugely successful acid rain program signed by the first President Bush, the Climate Stewardship and Innovation Act puts a cap on carbon pollution and lets the free market find the best solutions. It requires that emissions be reduced to 2004 levels by 2012, 1990 levels by 2020, and sixty percent below 1990 by 2050, stronger targets than in previous version of the legislation. The plan also sets up a market to trade emissions allowances, allowing the needed reductions to be achieved in the most efficient way possible.
The legislation also calls for transitional support for low carbon alternative fuels, including nuclear power. “There are some very serious issues to work out with nuclear power, so we believe that the appropriate role of the federal government is to fund the search for solutions to these issues – namely waste disposal and security – not to fund construction of new plants. We also believe the challenge of global warming is so urgent we can’t afford to take anything off the table,” said Krupp.
Krupp also called on Congress to act quickly on climate change. “The science of climate change says we can’t afford to wait -- this Congress should pass meaningful legislation to cap carbon pollution. We expect there to be a number of good bills out there and we believe the pieces are now in place to get this done.”