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S. 2191: America's Climate Security Act

Guest Rob Sawicki

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Guest Rob Sawicki

On its own, the America's Climate Security Act (ACSA) is projected to reduce total U.S. greenhouse-gas emissions by as much as 19% below the 2005 level (4% below the 1990 level) in 2020 and by as much as 63% below the 2005 level in 2050. Lieberman and Warner presented their new bill as the core of a new federal program that Congress should pass to avert catastrophic global climate change while enhancing America's energy security.


"With all the irrefutable evidence we now have corroborating that climate change is real, dangerous, and proceeding faster than many scientists predicted, this is the year for Congress to move this critical legislation," said Lieberman. "If we fail to start substantially reducing greenhouse gas emissions in the next couple of years, we risk bequeathing a diminished world to our grandchildren. Insect-borne diseases such as malaria will spike as tropical ecosystems expand; hotter air will exacerbate the pollution that sends children to the hospital with asthma attacks; food insecurity from shifting agricultural zones will spark border wars; and storms and coastal flooding from sea-level rise will cause mortality and dislocation."


"In my 28 years in the Senate, I have focused above all on issues of national security, and I see the problem of global climate change as fitting squarely within that focus," said Warner. "Today we introduced a balanced bill. Senator Lieberman and I found a good, sound, starting point that sends a significant signal that the U.S. is serious about taking a leadership role in reducing its greenhouse gas emissions."


Joining Lieberman and Warner in co-sponsoring ACSA are Senators Norm Coleman (R-MN), Tom Harkin (D-IA), Elizabeth Dole (R-NC), Benjamin Cardin (D-MD), Susan Collins (R-ME) and Amy Klobuchar (D-MN).


"It is imperative that our nation acts now to address the concerns over growing greenhouse gas emissions, while carefully addressing the effects it could have on working families and our economy," said Coleman. "The Lieberman-Warner America's Climate Security Act meets this need by taking a responsible approach to greenhouse gas reduction that will not undermine our economy, which is why I am pleased to be an original co-sponsor. Climate change is not a problem we can leave to our children to solve. I am confident this bill will not only protect our environment, but protect our children."


"The science is clear and compelling -- we must act to control and reduce greenhouse gas emissions," said Senator Harkin. "This bill is an excellent starting point for formulating a national climate change strategy. I am especially pleased that it recognizes the critical role that the agricultural sector can play in that strategy through reductions in farm emissions and sequestration of carbon in soils."


"The solution to this serious problem is not inaction," said Senator Elizabeth Dole. "We must ensure clean air for future generations, and this is a responsible, market-driven approach that strengthens our economy, competitiveness and security."


"Climate change is one of the most daunting challenges we face and we must develop reasonable solutions to reduce our greenhouse gas emissions. That is why I am pleased to be an original co-sponsor of the Lieberman-Warner America's Climate Security Act. This bi-partisan bill presents a practical, economically-sound approach to reducing America's greenhouse gas emissions 70 percent over 2005 levels by 2050," said Senator Susan Collins.


In July 2007, The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) found that if the U.S. achieves emissions reductions of the magnitude mandated by ACSA, then - making conservative assumptions about the pace of emissions reductions in the rest of the world - the concentration of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere will remain below 500 parts per million (ppm) at the end of this century. According to the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, keeping the concentration below 500 ppm will avoid a high risk of global warming that would cause severe impacts.


America's Climate Security Act controls compliance costs by allowing companies to trade, save, and borrow emission allowances, and by allowing them to generate credits when they induce non-covered businesses, farms, and others to reduce their greenhouse gas emissions or capture and store greenhouse gases.


The Act invests set-aside emissions credits and money raised by the auction of such allowances in advancing several important public policies, including, but not limited to:


• Deploying advanced technologies and practices for reducing emissions;


• Protecting low- and middle-income Americans from higher energy costs;


• Keeping good jobs in the United States; and


• Mitigating the negative impacts of any unavoidable global warming on low- and middle-income Americans and wildlife.


Several key environmental groups, , companies, and other organizations, including the National Wildlife Federation, Environmental Defense and the National Resources Defense Council, have expressed support for ACSA.


Larry Schweiger, President and CEO, National Wildlife Federation:


"This is a bipartisan breakthrough on global warming that takes us a giant step closer to a historic vote in the United States Senate. I commend Senator Lieberman and Senator Warner for drafting a strong bill to protect wildlife from global warming."


John Rowe, Chairman and CEO, Exelon Corporation:


"As an early and vocal advocate for climate change legislation, Exelon applauds the bipartisan leadership of Senators Lieberman and Warner to introduce a bill that will help reduce greenhouse gas emissions to address global warming as soon as possible. The legislation represents another important step towards developing the bipartisan consensus necessary to enact legislation this Congress. We are especially pleased that the bill recognizes the need to protect electricity consumers by allocating part of the allowances to local utilities for the benefit of their customers."


Steve Cochran, National Climate Campaign Director, Environmental Defense:


"Lieberman and Warner have paved the way for a historic committee vote on a bill that promises to make great strides toward climate security and economic growth. Thanks to their thoughtful approach we're moving beyond talk and quickly toward action."


Steven Kline, Vice President for Corporate Environmental and Federal Affairs, PGE Corp:


"We believe America's Climate Security Act provides a solid starting point for constructively advancing a comprehensive, national response to and policy on climate change. Senators Lieberman and Warner have developed a thoughtful proposal that recognizes the urgent need for action by designing a program to achieve significant emission reductions from all sectors of the economy. The bill includes provisions that prioritize energy efficiency and technology development and deployment, as well as innovative ideas to protect electricity consumers, manage overall program costs, and provide states with the resources to help address the unique needs of their communities and citizens as we transition to a low-carbon economy and adapt to a changing environment. America's Climate Security Act takes significant steps toward recognizing that a national program must balance the economic, technology, and environmental challenges of combating climate change."


Frances Beinecke, President, Natural Resources Defense Council:


"The introduction and planned markup of America's Climate Security Act by Senators Joe Lieberman (I-Conn.) and John Warner (R-Va.) represents an important step forward in the overdue process to enact comprehensive, mandatory global warming legislation. Committee consideration of this legislation will help move us toward the substantial reductions in global warming pollution we need to protect our climate. The bill also recognizes the need to direct proceeds from the pollution allowance market to important policy objectives, including promoting clean energy solutions, protecting the poor and other consumers, ensuring a just transition for workers in affected industries, and preventing impacts abroad that lead to conflicts and threats to security."


The Members of the Association of Fish & Wildlife Agencies:


"[O]ur organizations, representing millions of American sportsmen and sportswomen, thank you again for working with us to help address the challenge of climate change by both reducing emissions of greenhouse gases and providing important new resources to assist fish and wildlife survive in the face of this unprecedented challenge."



On November 1, 2007, the Subcommittee on Private Sector and Consumer Solutions approved the measure, and recommended it to the full Committee on Environment and Public Works. During the subcommittee hearing, Sen. Bernard Sanders tried unsuccessfully to modify substantial portions of the bill, with only one proposed amendment accepted. He had attempted to "strengthen the auction of pollution allocations, lower the cap on emissions, earmark subsidies for renewable energies, demand accountability from the auto industry, and diminish industry's capacity to stall simply by buying carbon offsets.


Approval in Environment and Public Works Committee


Warner joined Democrats and Lieberman in approving the legislation on December 5, 2007, following a day of debate in the Environment and Public Works Committee. According to one report, Republican Sens. Jim Inhofe (Okla.) and Larry Craig (Idaho) offered 150 amendments to the act. In addition, The Mercury News reported that opponents "failed to amend the bill with a provision that would end the emissions caps unless China - about to become the world's largest emitter of greenhouse gases - adopted similar restrictions within 10 years." Inhofe said the bill would cost 2.3 million during the next 10 years.


Some groups and lawmakers remained skeptical that the bill would do enough to curb emissions. A representative of the Union of Concerned Scientists said the bill was a "strong foundation" but, expressed a desire for tougher measures:


If we are to have a fighting chance to avoid the worst effects of climate change, the United States has to cut emissions by 80 percent from current levels by the middle of the century. The committee approved the legislation by a 11-8 vote. No timetable has been announced as to when the bill might reach the full Senate for debate.

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Guest Thomas S. Winter

"Global Warming" is the ideal scare campaign for leftist demagogues like Gore who are doing all they can to secure strict control over the economy and the minutest details of individual life.


For a limited time, Human Events is making The Politically Incorrect Guide to Global Warming available to you ABSOLUTELY FREE.


In your FREE copy of The Politically Incorrect Guide to Global Warming, you'll discover the real facts behind "climate change" hysteria, such as:


There is no "scientific consensus" on global warming


Climate is always changing – with or without man


The Medieval Warm Period was significantly warmer than temperatures today – and was a golden age for agriculture, innovation, and lifespan


Most of Antarctica is actually getting colder


Hurricanes are not getting worse – our tendency to build houses in their path is getting greater


Many big businesses lobby for global warming policies that will increase their profits – and our costs


The media only recently abandoned the "global cooling" scare


The real agenda behind the "global warming" scare? A massive expansion of government control over the economy and our lives.



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Guest National Wildlife Federation

The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) released an analysis of the Lieberman-Warner Climate Security Act expected to come to the floor of the U.S. Senate in June.


Jeremy Symons, executive director of the National Wildlife Federation's global warming campaign :


"The Bush administration quietly released today's economic analysis by the Environmental Protection Agency, but the results speak loudly that we can grow America's economy and tackle global warming. EPA analyzed the bipartisan global warming bill that is headed for a Senate debate in the coming months and is opposed by the White House. According to EPA's analysis, the U.S. economy would grow by 80 percent through the year 2030 after enactment of the Climate Security Act. That is less than one-half of one percent difference from projected growth without a bill.


"It's not surprising that the Bush administration took steps to disguise the fundamental conclusion that the Lieberman-Warner climate plan is doable and protects our economy.


"It's important to note that even these modest results don't tell the whole story. The analysis fails to measure the important economic boom expected from the bill's aggressive investment in clean energy jobs. In 2006, the renewable energy and energy efficiency industries generated 8 million jobs in America and nearly one trillion dollars in revenue. That's a good start, but it is time for America to unleash the full economic power of a clean energy future.


"The National Wildlife Federation looks forward to Senate action on the Lieberman-Warner bill, and we will work to make it even stronger during the floor debate."


The National Wildlife Federation is America's conservation organization inspiring Americans to protect wildlife for our children's future.



Jeremy Symons, Global Warming Campaign Executive Director, National Wildlife Federation, 202-939-3311, symons@nwf.org

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Guest Disgruntled

I'm sure congress will do such a fantastic job in supporting alternative energy, Just look at ethanol and it's impact in lowering foreign oil dependency, greenhouse gases and prices at the pump!!



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Guest Ohio Senator George Voinovich

Ohio Senator George Voinovich recently proposed to address the rapidly escalating threat of climate change by delaying meaningful federal action to control greenhouse gas emissions, obstructing existing state programs, and allowing U.S. global warming pollution to increase for decades to come.


"This proposal can be summed up in one word: bankrupt," said Steve Cochran, national climate campaign director at Environmental Defense Fund. "It's a detailed prescription for doing nothing. If you think climate change is a hoax, this is your bill."


The plan outlined by Senator Voinovich today postpones meaningful action on greenhouse gas emissions for at least twenty years, calling for weak, non-binding emissions reduction benchmarks – current levels in 2020 and 1990 levels in 2030 – while providing taxpayer-funded subsidies for favored technologies. If the subsidies failed to achieve their goal, the Environmental Protection Agency could establish a cap and trade system to reduce emissions – but it could be suspended at the whim of the federal government, and it would come with an astonishingly low $5 per ton "safety valve" – an artificial price control on emissions reductions.


In the meantime, the proposal would take away state authority – confirmed by the U.S. Supreme Court in Massachusetts v. EPA – to control global warming pollution. Dozens of states across the country, including California, Florida, and the Northeast members of the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative, have set ambitious emissions reduction targets.


Widespread scientific consensus holds that the U.S. needs to reduce emissions to roughly 80 percent below current levels by mid-century to help avoid the worst consequences of climate change. The U.S. can meet that target by reducing emissions by a manageable two percent per year – every year of delay will require steeper emissions cuts at a higher cost to the economy.


The Senate is expected to vote in early June on the Lieberman-Warner Climate Security Act (S. 2191), a bipartisan bill that puts an enforceable limit on pollution and puts the U.S. on a path to meeting science-based emissions reduction targets without harming the economy. The Energy Information Administration reported earlier this week that the bill's mandatory cap and trade system would effectively reduce emissions without impacting strong long-term economic growth in the U.S.


"Senators looking for an environmentally effective and economically sound climate policy need to look no further than the Climate Security Act. Senator Voinovich's proposal is just an escape route from credible action, and it leads to the same old expensive and ineffective policies that have already failed to curb emissions," Cochran said. "It's an attempt to block real action, and it's only going to raise the price of fixing this problem down the road."

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Guest Jeremy Symons

Senate Republicans are literally throwing the book at this bill to help oil companies block any action on global warming and a clean energy future. By stalling this bill, Senate Republicans can only stall America's economy. We need to jumpstart our economy with action now to invest in new technology and create clean energy jobs.


The choice is clear - recharge the economy or let it sit in neutral. Move forward with legislation that addresses an enormous problem while transforming our energy future or stick your head in the sand and hide behind Big Oil propaganda.


America is ready for a new energy future. If opponents succeed in blocking action on climate change, they will block America's path to a new and stronger economy. The Climate Security Act deserves real debate, not Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell’s procedural trickery and delay tactics.

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