EDF Hails Global Climate Title of National Energy Bill

October 1, 1992
(October 1, 1992—Washington, DC) The Environmental Defense Fund (EDF) today welcomed the agreement of the House-Senate Conference Committee to include a voluntary greenhouse gas emissions reduction program in the National Energy bill. The program permits greenhouse gas sources, like utility power plants, to certify reductions or offsets of emissions that result from steps they take to switch fuels, improve efficiency, plant trees, or adopt other reduction measures. If greenhouse gas reductions are mandated in the future, sources may be able to use this certification to claim credit for reductions they have achieved.

“Incentives for early reductions have the potential to start tackling the greenhouse gas problem, and they may offer industry the chance to find the most innovative ways of reducing or offsetting emissions,” said Daniel J. Dudek, an EDF senior economist, who proposed the original concept for the program. “We are delighted to see Congress expanding the incentive-and market-based approaches included in the 1990 Clean Air Act to test their potential applicability to other pollution problems like global warming.”

“The willingness of Congress to move beyond rhetoric and towards policies to address greenhouse gases is a welcome first step,” said William Roberts, EDF legislative director. “Although we are a long way from finishing the job, this program, in the wake of the Rio Climate Convention, signals a readiness to carry out the commitments that the U.S. made there. EDF will be looking to the next Congress to pursue this effort aggressively.”

“Right now, sources like utilities are making plans and spending money to meet their requirements under the 1990 Clean Air Act. This program gives them a possible incentive to adopt Clean Air compliance strategies that also reduce greenhouse gas emissions,” said EDF senior attorney Joseph Goffman.

“The inclusion of this provision in the final bill reflects not only the initiative and vision of Congressmen Cooper, Synar and Moorehead and Senators Lieberman and Chafee (R.-R.I.), but the bipartisan leadership of Senators Johnston, Wirth and Wallop, and Congressmen Dingell and Sharp,” said EDF’s Roberts.

The Environmental Defense Fund, a leading, national, NYbased nonprofit organization with over 200,000 members, links science, economics, and law to create innovative, economically viable solutions to today’s environmental problems.