More Than 300 Groups Push for Stronger Climate Bill in Senate
Wednesday, August 26, 2009 at 9:32 am
A letter (PDF) sent this morning to Senate Environment and Public Works Chairwoman Barbara Boxer (D-Calif.) — signed by more than 300 environmental, social advocacy and other groups — urges the Senate to draft a climate bill with stronger environmental protections than the American Clean Energy and Security Act that passed the House in June.
“The environmental, economic, and public health threats of global warming – both in the United States and around the world – require a strong climate bill,” the letter says. “We are profoundly concerned that as currently written, H.R. 2454 (American Clean Energy and Security Act or ‘ACES’) falls far short.”
Among other changes, the letter calls for a lower cap on carbon emissions and the elimination of loopholes and “massive subsidies to coal and oil.”
This message is not going uncontested, however; the energy lobbies have been pushing in the opposite direction. Last month, the president of the Edison Electric Institute, an electric power industry group, sent a letter (PDF) to Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.), urging the Senate to “help reduce the costs of any cap-and-trade program to energy consumers” by lowering short-term emissions reduction targets and eliminating certain restrictions on free pollution allowances and offsets. EEI has also launched an energy information campaign through a new Website that promotes its side of the cap-and-trade story.
While it’s possible that the relatively liberal Environment and Public Works Committee will draft a bill with stronger environmental protections than its House counterpart, few expect the full Senate to collect 60 votes for such a bill.
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