Friends of the Earth Issues Detailed Critique of Kerry-Boxer Clean Energy Jobs and American Power Act
We commend Senators Boxer and Kerry for their dedication to combating the important problem of climate change but we cannot support a bill that fails to solve the problem. Overall the draft is riddled with loopholes and does not go far enough to protect the planet.
Friends of the Earth’s “areas of concern” include:
Emissions Cap: Science demands at least a 40% reduction in emissions, compared to 1990, by 2020. The draft bill has emissions reductions targets of about 20 percent below 2005 levels – nowhere near what a fair U.S. contribution to a global emissions reductions should be to avert climate catastrophe
Offset Loopholes: The extensive use of unreliable offsets in this draft bill, up to 2 billion tons a year, seriously undermines the integrity of the already weak emissions cap and delays the health, environmental, and economic benefits of shifting to a low-carbon economy.
Methane Regulations: The House-passed bill would require emissions from landfills, coal mines and natural gas pipelines to be regulated, but under the Kerry-Boxer draft, these sources can voluntarily capture methane in exchange for offset payments.
Markets Regulations: The bill would create from scratch a new commodities market for carbon that could quickly be the largest market in the world and has no specifics on how that market would be regulated.
Subsidizes Dirty Energy: The bill gives special subsidies to expensive, unsafe and environmentally damaging technologies such as nuclear reactors and carbon capture and sequestration and capture for coal plants, not to mention ambiguous incentives for biofuels.
Friends of the Earth’s policy team will be taking a deeper look at the bill in further days and release a more detailed analysis at a later date so that we can work with the Senate to pass legislation that will fairly and effectively address the problem of climate change.