Initial Responses to Lieberman-Warner

Posted by Brad Johnson Thu, 18 Oct 2007 11:56:00 GMT

Environmental organizations have begun responding to the release of the Lieberman-Warner legislation.

Friends of the Earth

Global warming legislation expected to be introduced tomorrow could provide giveaways worth hundreds of billions or even trillions of dollars to polluting industries, according to an analysis of a draft of the legislation conducted by Friends of the Earth. . . . The Friends of the Earth analysis found that the coal industry in particular stands to benefit from this legislation, precisely because it is currently the industry most responsible for global warming pollution. Depending on market conditions, the coal industry could receive permits worth up to $231 billion in the first year alone, 48 percent of the total permit allocation.

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. . . . The emissions goal is aggressive in the short-term and that will have a real impact on investment decisions made now. Most scientists say we need to cut U.S. emissions by about 80 percent, and we continue to believe that deeper reductions are needed long-term. This bill is a good start in that direction, and we will continue to work toward those longer term reductions.

Sierra Club

The bill is a significant political step forward for the U.S. Congress, but unfortunately the legislation as introduced still falls short what is demanded by the science and the public to meet the challenge of global warming. . . .The Lieberman-Warner bill, as introduced, leaves us in serious danger of reaching the tipping points that scientists tell us could lead to catastrophic changes to the climate. Polluters should pay for what they do and any bill must allocate allowances for the public benefit, not private windfalls.
The Sierra Club finds that the bill falls short of the standards of scientific integrity and economic fairness, calling for an economy-wide cap of 20% by 2020 and 80% by 2050, and full auction of emissions allowances.


Although this bill is a strong start, NRDC supports changes that would improve the bill by ensuring that emission reductions keep pace with the science, and by reducing free allocations and directing additional resources to provide more support for critical program features, including consumer and low-income protections, safeguards for affected workers, and faster deployment of energy efficiency and renewable energy solutions.

Clean Air Watch

From our standpoint, it’s a good-faith political compromise, but it seems very unlikely to go very far unless President Bush does an unexpected 180 degree reversal. And it’s got some very significant warts.
Clean Air Watch criticizes the giveaway of emissions credits and notes that the actual reductions in the bill come out to about 51% of overall US emissions by 2050 because the cap is not economy-wide.


We applaud Senators Joe Lieberman and John Warner for their leadership on global warming. . . . While we commend several of the improvements Senators Lieberman and Warner made to their bill, such as increasing the 2020 target to a 15% reduction in covered sectors and recognizing the vital check-and-balance role that enforcement must play in any climate bill, their bill must be strengthened in some vital areas.
Earthjustice calls for economy-wide coverage, an 80% reduction (not 51-63% reduction) by 2050, increased auction, and the restoration of funding for international relief.

Nature Conservancy

The Lieberman-Warner bill offers a strong starting point for action. . . . We are especially pleased by the commitment to conservation and protecting wildlife and habitat reflected in the bill. Senators Warner and Lieberman have been leaders in recognizing the magnitude of the challenge climate change poses for the natural world and for all of us.

League of Conservation Voters

Today’s introduction of America’s Climate Security Act marks an important step by this Congress to address the urgent problem of global warming. We applaud Senators Joe Lieberman and John Warner for their leadership and for their bipartisan commitment to moving America closer to real solutions to this very urgent problem. . . . We will continue to work to increase the reduction targets and the sectors covered in both the near and long term. We will also work to significantly increase the amount of allowances toward our goal of 100 percent auction, while ensuring that the auction revenues go to directly helping consumers, to increasing renewable energy and energy efficiency, and to helping impacted populations adapt to global warming both at home and abroad.

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 people and wildlife from global warming.


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