House Bill Will Help Businesses Clear The Air

July 14, 1999

The Environmental Defense Fund (EDF) today praised the introduction of the Voluntary Reductions Act by Rep. Rick Lazio (R-NY), Rep. Cal Dooley (D-CA), and a bipartisan group of co-sponsors. EDF urged Congress to move forward with consideration of the legislation, which would provide credit to companies and communities that reduce emissions of the greenhouse gases that cause climate change.

In addition to Mr. Lazio and Mr. Dooley, co-sponsors of the bill include Sherwood Boehlert (R-NY), Michael Castle (R-DE), Greg Ganske (R-IA), Ron Kind (D-WI), Jim Maloney (D-CT), Jim Moran (D-VA), David Price (D-NC), Tim Roemer (D-IN), and Adam Smith (D-WA).

“Climate change won’t wait while politicians debate,” said EDF’s executive director Fred Krupp. “We need to begin now to protect ourselves from impending changes in Earth’s climate caused by the buildup of greenhouse gases. These Representatives have developed the type of bipartisan initiative America needs to get greenhouse gas reductions started now. We commend them for their leadership on this important issue.”

The proposed legislation, which complements similar bipartisan efforts in the Senate, would award credit to companies and communities that take voluntary steps to reduce their overall domestic greenhouse gas emissions below specified levels prior to the introduction of any regulatory requirements. These credits could be saved for use in meeting future domestic emissions reduction requirements, or purchased by others who might need them to help manage their own reduction obligations. The legislation would also provide strong incentives for innovative American companies and could boost the $300 billion global environmental technologies market.

EDF has been instrumental in developing the credit for early action approach and began advocating it over two years ago. “This proposal will begin to help protect Americans from the environmental and economic effects of global climate change,” said EDF senior attorney Joe Goffman. “Businesses that take action to reduce greenhouse gas emissions now will help improve the environment, be better equipped to meet future regulatory requirements, and be better able to remain competitive in a new regulatory atmosphere. The longer action is postponed on cutting greenhouse gases, the higher the costs will be. This approach is a wise investment in our nation’s future.”