Environmental Defense Praises New McCain-Lieberman Climate Bill

January 8, 2003

(8 January 2003 — New York)  Environmental Defense today praised Senator Joseph Lieberman (D - Connecticut) and Senator John McCain (R - Arizona) for introducing landmark legislation designed to cut and cap the greenhouse gas pollution that America is contributing to global warming.  In hearings today before the Senate Commerce Committee, the Senators presented the bill, which creates a comprehensive cap on greenhouse gas pollution, paired with an allowance trading system to ensure cost-savings and encourage innovation across the full range of opportunities for reducing greenhouse gas pollution and enhancing the uptake of carbon by soils, crops and trees.

“Today’s serious bi-partisan climate legislation marks an end to stalling and the start of the search for serious solutions to the global warming problem,” said Environmental Defense president Fred Krupp.  “The bill’s cap on greenhouse gas pollution takes on the problem of global warming in a strong and sensible way.  Everyone knows a diet only succeeds if you take weight off and keep it from coming back; the same is true of cutting pollution.  The McCain - Lieberman legislation cuts pollution and keeps it from building up in the future while protecting America’s environment and economy.”

“This bill creates a long overdue comprehensive, national policy for cutting the U.S. greenhouse gas pollution that threatens to dangerously disrupt the Earth’s climate,” said Environmental Defense senior attorney Joe Goffman.  “As the bill moves through the legislative process, many of its details doubtless will be changed - but its fundamental and most important features should remain and the high public profile of the bill’s sponsors points to the climate change issue impacting next year’s presidential race.”

“In bringing greenhouse gas pollution below current levels by the middle of the next decade, the bill will protect American citizens and the Earth’s environment from the impacts of climate change.  The bill’s cost-lowering emissions trading market will cut more dangerous pollution than traditional bureaucratic approaches and promote innovation while spurring American economic growth,” said Krupp.