Wednesday, June 27, 2007

Dingell Calls For 60-80% GHG Reduction By 2050

Jun 27: In a statement to the House Energy and Commerce Committee, on the mark up of energy policy legislation, Chairman John Dingell (D-MI) said, "We should set ambitious goals and targets for that legislation. It should stabilize greenhouse gas concentrations at levels that will avoid or avert large-scale climate change consequences. That will require a reduction in U.S. greenhouse gas [GHG] emissions of between 60, and perhaps as much as 80, percent by 2050." While the Senate was debating its comprehensive energy bill on the Senate Floor last week [See WIMS 6/22/07], one of Dingell's Subcommittees was debating a set of Committee prints addressing energy efficiency standards, a smart electricity grid, loan guarantees for innovative energy technologies, renewable fuels infrastructure incentives, and advanced battery and plug-in hybrid vehicle promotion [See WIMS 6/19/07]. The prints are now being considered by the full Committee this week, beginning June 27, and subsequent days if necessary. The Committee will consider six Committee prints related to energy legislation that were approved by the Subcommittee on Energy and Air Quality.

Dingell also indicated that issues such as motor vehicle fuel economy, coal-to-liquids, and a renewable portfolio standard have been left out of the base text and although members may wish to offer amendments on those subjects, he recommended that those issues be addressed in the fall in the context of comprehensive climate change legislation. He said, "We will have to examine the future of coal and the role of nuclear power. We will need to get beyond the stale debate over miles per gallon. We should be talking about the lifetime carbon footprint of vehicles, about the carbon content of fuels, about the promotion of renewable fuels and advanced batteries and other technologies. We will need to discuss the role of carbon sinks and sequestration, as well as land use policies. "

He concluded saying, "We should leave as few of these issues to bureaucratic discretion as possible. It is the job of the Congress, and of this Committee, to make tough calls – as we did in writing the Clean Air Act Amendments in 1990. This will allow us to distribute the burdens fairly – and there will be burdens. But let’s accept that, and also accept our own responsibility: to create a secure future for our country and our world, one that preserves economic opportunity and our natural environment."

Access the complete statement from Representative Dingell (click here). Access links to the Committee prints and section-by-section explanations (click here). [*Energy, *Climate]