Wednesday, October 08, 2008

Reactions To Dingell-Boucher Draft Climate Change Bill

Oct 8: Yesterday, the House Energy & Commerce Committee, Chaired by Representative John Dingell (D-MI) and the Subcommittee on Energy and Air Quality, Chaired by Rick Boucher (D-VA) released their long-awaited "discussion draft" of climate change legislation. The draft is the culmination of nearly two years of intensive work on climate change by the Committee and according to the Chairmen, "marks an important step in our ongoing efforts to address this increasingly serious problem." WIMS reported on the release of the draft yesterday [See WIMS 10/7/08] and included an early reaction from Environmental Defense Fund (EDF). The following are excerpts from additional reactions and links to the complete statements are included.

Statement by U.S. Senator Barbara Boxer (D-CA), Chairman of the Senate Committee on Environment and Public Works: "I am pleased that Chairman Dingell and Chairman Boucher have decided to write a comprehensive global warming bill. I am not going to comment on the details of the draft plan today, except to say that it is a very good sign of the commitment in the House to tackle global warming legislation in the next Congress."

Statement of Representative Edward Markey (D-MA), Chairman of the Select Committee on Energy Independence and Global Warming: "This draft recognizes that, to combat global warming and unleash a clean energy revolution, America needs to set long-term targets, protect consumers, and invest in energy efficiency and clean technologies. The draft legislation lays out a range of options for structuring a cap and trade system that are likely to trigger a vigorous and healthy debate about how best to reduce global warming pollution. In the next year, I look forward to working with Chairmen Dingell and Boucher, our Energy and Commerce colleagues, and a new, climate-friendly administration as we put the American economy on a green road to recovery and finally solve the greatest challenge the planet has ever faced.”

Statement by David Hawkins, Director of Climate Programs at the Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC): "There are many positive features to the discussion draft, such as the inclusion of a strong reduction target for 2050 and thoughtful approaches to the details of the structure of a comprehensive program. However, there are also many important respects in which the draft legislation must be improved. Most notably, the near- and mid-term emission reduction targets must be substantially strengthened in order to avoid the worst effects of global warming. We are also very concerned about provisions that would eliminate existing authority to regulate global warming pollution under the Clean Air Act and alter the rights and ability of states to combat global warming on their own. We believe the final legislation must preserve existing Clean Air Act authority and the ability of states to operate as innovation laboratories. . ."

Statement of Duke Energy Chairman, President and CEO Jim Rogers: "Duke Energy strongly supports the proposal that grants allocations to local electric distribution companies (LDCs) based on the historic emissions of their electric supply in order to protect consumers from significant price increases at the start of the program. Allocating allowances, whose value went back to the customer, worked very well in the 1990 Clean Air Act Amendment and subsequent federal air quality regulations to address acid rain and smog, and it can work again to address climate change. . . We appreciate the inclusive process the committee has used in preparation of this discussion draft and their sincere desire to receive input from all those who will be impacted by this legislation. . . "

Statement of Greenpeace USA Deputy Campaigns Director Carroll Muffett: ". . . we would be remiss not to point out that it still falls far short of what is needed to avoid catastrophic global warming. . . The draft legislation contains numerous shortcomings that would prevent the United States from doing its part to stop global warming: First, the emission targets set by the plan fall short of what is needed to confront the problem. It calls for 6 percent emissions reductions below 2005 levels by 2020 and 80 percent below 2005 levels by 2050 when science says we must reduce domestic emissions at least 25 percent below 1990 levels by 2020 and at least 80 percent below 1990 levels by 2050. . ."

Access the statement from Senator Boxer (click here). Access the statement from Representative Markey (click here). Access the complete NRDC statement (click here). Access the complete Duke Energy statement (click here). Access the complete Statement from Greenpeace (click here). [*Climate]