Enviro Groups Call on EPW to Strengthen, Approve Lieberman-Warner

Posted by Brad Johnson Tue, 20 Nov 2007 22:16:00 GMT

Eight environmental organizations sent a letter calling on the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee to “continue the process of strengthening S. 2191, and to deliver the bill to the full Senate the first week of December.” The signatories included four members of US-CAP (NRDC, ED, NWF, Nature Conservancy), as well as the Union of Concerned Scientists, National Environmental Trust, Defenders of Wildlife, and the Wilderness Society.

The letter does does not specify how S. 2191 needs to be strengthened, though testimony of group representatives before the committee has generally agreed on the call for an 80% reduction by 2050 in emissions and opposition to any safety-valve/price-cap amendments.

In addition, a NWF representative has stated that the National Wildlife Federation supports 100% auction, and the Union of Concerned Scientists has called for 100% auction, with revenues going to efficiency and to “counteract the negative societal impacts of a carbon price.” NET has called for U.S. climate legislation to “auction a significant percent of allowances” to avoid windfall profits. NRDC has opposed grandfathering of emissions allowances to firms and believes “allowances should be held in trust for the public and distributed in ways that will produce public benefits.”

Groups who have directly responded to Lieberman-Warner with a call for 100% auction or outlined climate legislation principles (such as Sierra Club, Audobon, Physicians for Social Responsibility, U.S. PIRG, Friends of the Earth, Rainforest Action Network, and Greenpeace) were not involved in the letter.

The full text of the letter is below.

Defenders of Wildlife • Environmental Defense • National Environmental Trust
National Wildlife Federation • Natural Resources Defense Council
The Nature Conservancy • Union of Concerned Scientists • The Wilderness Society

Members of the Environment and Public Works Committee
United States Senate
456 Dirksen Senate Office Building
Washington, DC 20510

November 15, 2007

Dear Members of the Environment and Public Works Committee,

We are writing to follow up on the letter of October 31, 2007, which highlighted the mounting urgency of global warming and the need for prompt action by the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee. Time is running out for effective action on global warming, and we need to get started now. The longer we delay, the greater the impacts and risks, and the more dramatically we will have to cut emissions in future years to achieve the same results.

We are encouraged that the committee has been holding hearings on S. 2191, America’s Climate Security Act, and that a markup has been scheduled for December 5. We believe that Senators should continue the process of strengthening the bill in committee and throughout the legislative process. We ask Senators to support those efforts and to defeat efforts to weaken the bill.

It is vitally important that the full Senate take up the issue of global warming. If not weakened in committee, this legislation provides a sensible framework for engaging the full Senate in an open debate and votes on global warming. We therefore ask members of the committee to continue the process of strengthening S. 2191, and to deliver the bill to the full Senate the first week of December.

Sincerely,

Robert Dewey
Vice President, Government Relations and External Affairs
Defenders of Wildlife

Elizabeth Thompson
Legislative Director
Environmental Defense

Geoffrey Brown
Legislative Director
National Environmental Trust

Jeremy Symons
Executive Director, Global Warming Program
National Wildlife Federation

David Hawkins
Director, Climate Center
Natural Resources Defense Council

Cathleen Kelly
Director of Climate Change Policy
The Nature Conservancy

Alden Meyer
Director of Strategy and Policy
Union of Concerned Scientists

Linda Lance
Vice President for Public Policy
The Wilderness Society

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