Thursday, December 06, 2007

Full Senate EPW Committee Approves Climate Security Act

Dec 5: Following a marathon, nearly 10-hour markup session that extended into the evening hours, the full Senate Committee on Environment and Public Works (EPW), Chaired by Senator Barbara Boxer (D-CA), approved S. 2191, the Lieberman Warner Climate Security Act [See WIMS 12/5/07, & 11/2/07]. The final vote on approval was 11-8, with all eight Democrats voting for the bill, two Independents voting for the bill, and one Republican, sponsor Senator Warner voting for the bill. The bill will now be considered before the full Senate.

Chairman Boxer issued a brief statement saying, "The vote of the Environment and Public Works Committee in favor of the Climate Security Act was a historic moment for our country and for my Committee. For me, it was the greatest legislative accomplishment of my political career of thirty years. Finally, America is taking bold steps to avert the catastrophe that awaits our children and grandchildren if we do nothing.

"Our bill has two fight global warming and to do it in a way that keeps our economy strong. That will be my focus in the coming weeks and months as we move the bill forward to the Senate floor. This bill is the most far reaching global warming bill in the world and I am grateful to Senators Lieberman and Warner for breaching the partisan divide and unleashing a spirit of cooperation that puts the wind at our backs."

Senator Joe Lieberman (I-CT) also issued a brief statement indicating, “Today, the Senate took a giant and historic step forward toward reversing a clear and present danger to our planet. By adopting America’s Climate Security Act, the Environment and Public Works Committee, sent a powerful message that will be heard across the country and around the world -- America is now truly in the fight to combat global warming. I would like to thank Senator Boxer for her effective leadership on this legislation and Senator Warner for his dedicated partnership in bringing about this significant victory.

“We still have a challenging effort ahead of us on the Senate floor, but the momentum is clearly in favor of taking action on climate change before the end of the 110th Congress. In the coming months, I believe that you will see a wave of support and pressure to pass this legislation when it comes to the Senate floor next year. The message that came out of this Committee is that there will be no more denying, no more waiting, and no more equivocating when it comes to addressing this threat to the future of our planet.”

Senator James Inhofe (R-OK), Ranking Member of the Environment and Public Works Committee, and outspoken opponent of global warming legislation issued a more lengthy statement saying, “For the first time in history, a fatally flawed global warming cap-and-trade bill was passed out of committee. Not only is the entire cap-and-trade approach fatally flawed, but the Lieberman-Warner bill failed to improve today, as Democrat amendments were added. Instead of engaging in substantive debate, the Democrats’ chose to simply reject all serious efforts to mitigate the unintended consequences of this bill and ensure adequate future energy supplies for this nation.

“The rejection of key amendments has guaranteed an enormous floor fight as many major issues were side-stepped. While the vote today was never in question, it did provide an opportunity for Republicans to expose the serious deficiencies of this bill. The full Senate now needs to look at a cost-benefit analysis of this bill. It is simply all economic pain for no climate gain. Numerous analyses have placed the costs at trillions of dollars. Even if you accept the dire claims of man-made global warming, this bill would not have a measurable impact on the climate.

“Within seven years, electricity prices are estimated to skyrocket 35 to 65 percent and will have a huge economic hit on households. These costs are far greater than the McCain-Lieberman bill that was voted down by the Senate two years ago. Additionally, the poor will be the hardest hit as they pay about five times more per month, as a percentage of their monthly expenditures, compared to wealthier Americans. By 2015 this bill is estimated to cost up to 2.3 million jobs, and these lost jobs will go to China, India, and other emerging nations without carbon limits..."

Access a release from Senator Boxer (
click here). Access a release from Senator Lieberman (click here). Access a release from Senator Inhofe (click here). Access the hearing website for a links to the complete webcast and opening statements (click here). Access legislative details on S. 2191 (click here). Access a release from the National Wildlife Federation supporting (click here). Access a release from the Natural Resources Defense Council supporting (click here). Access a release from Environmental Defense supporting (click here). Access a release from the National Association of Manufacturers opposing (click here) [*Climate]