Hawaii Democrat Tulsi Gabbard Joins Opposition to Dakota Access Pipeline

Posted by Brad Johnson Fri, 09 Sep 2016 19:03:00 GMT

Rep. Tulsi Gabbard (D-Hawaii) has joined the growing chorus of opposition to a controversial pipeline threatening the rights of Native Americans in North Dakota. In a campaign email, Gabbard called for supporters to sign a petition in solidarity “against a greedy oil company and an Army Corp of Engineers that have failed to properly follow the law or actually address the important issues of the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe and neighboring communities.”

Hawaii, like North Dakota, has one of the largest indigenous populations in the United States.

Gabbard was one of the few elected officials to endorse Sen. Bernie Sanders’ campaign for the presidency, a move she announced in concert with resigning from the top leadership of the Democratic National Committee. Sanders has also come out in opposition to the pipeline, offering a Senate amendment to require environmental statement for the pipeline.

Transcript:

There is nothing more important than protecting the air we breathe, the land we call home, and the water we drink.

That’s why I opposed the Keystone Pipeline. If we are going to take climate change seriously, we must begin to say no to the construction of new pipelines and shift away from fossil fuels to create an energy policy that is sustainable and safe for our future.

For that same reason, and others I have detailed below, I am opposing the creation of the Dakota Access Pipeline.

This pipeline, which would run from North Dakota to South Dakota, Iowa and Illinois, is more than just bad for our environment. It threatens the water supply and tribal lands of the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe in North Dakota.

Add your name to stand with our brothers and sisters in the Midwest who are protesting this pipeline and fighting to protect their water, their cultural heritage, and their land.

As we speak, hundreds of Native Americans have joined together to protest this pipeline and they are continuing to engage in a long legal process to stop its construction permanently. Over the weekend, these protests turned violent when construction crews destroyed sacred cultural heritage sites and even deployed guard dogs to attack protesters.

Thirty protesters were pepper sprayed and six people were bitten, including a young child. That is appalling and unacceptable.

We cannot remain silent while so many of our brothers and sisters continue to stand up against a greedy oil company and an Army Corp of Engineers that have failed to properly follow the law or actually address the important issues of the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe and neighboring communities.

Can I count on you to stand with me and our Native American brothers, sisters, and friends by adding your name to our petition opposing the Dakota Access Pipeline?

Sign your name to help us prevent the construction of this pipeline, which will risk water contamination for local communities and destroy sacred cultural heritage.

I will do my best to make sure this issue is addressed in Congress and to have your signature delivered to the organizers of these protests as well as the companies involved in the construction.

We will be in touch soon about our next steps and what more we can do to help ensure this pipeline is never completed.

Aloha,

Tulsi Gabbard

Climate Movement Flexes Political Power: Clinton's Democratic Platform Adopts Strong Climate Principles

Posted by Brad Johnson Sun, 10 Jul 2016 01:47:00 GMT


Sanders and Clinton delegates speak in support of unity climate amendment.
In a tremendous victory for the climate movement, the Democratic National Platform — and thus the Hillary Clinton campaign — has adopted strong and clear language on tackling fossil-fuel pollution. The unity amendment, which passed unanimously, calls for a price on greenhouse pollution, prioritization of renewable energy over natural gas, and President Obama’s “climate test” for all federal decisions.


However, the Sanders delegates, led by Josh Fox, were unable to get the platform to include language calling for a national moratorium on fracking. Led by Hillary Clinton energy advisor Trevor Houser, the committee adopted language calling for more regulation of fracking and a rebuilding of existing natural-gas infrastructure instead.

The text of the adopted unity amendment is below:

Page 19 Line 18, insert: Democrats believe that carbon dioxide, methane and other greenhouse gases should be priced to reflect their negative externalities, and to accelerate the transition to a clean energy economy and help meet our climate goals. Democrats believe that climate change is too important to wait for climate deniers and defeatists in Congress to start listening to science, and support using every tool available to reduce emissions now.

Page 19, Line 26, insert: We will streamline federal permitting to accelerate the construction of new transmission lines to get low-cost renewable energy to market, and incentivize wind, solar and other renewable energy over the development of new natural gas power plants.

We support President Obama’s decision to reject the Keystone XL pipeline. As we continue working to reduce carbon dioxide, methane and other greenhouse gas emissions, we most ensure federal actions don’t “significantly exacerbate” global warming. We support a comprehensive approach that insures all federal decisions going forward contribute to solving, not significantly exacerbating climate change.

Democrats believe that our commitment to meeting the climate challenge most also be reflected in the infrastructure investments we make. We need to make our existing infrastructure safer and cleaner and build the new infrastructure necessary to power our clean energy future. To create good-paying middle class jobs that can’t be outsourced, Democrats support high labor standards in clean energy infrastructure, and the right to form or join a union, whether in renewable power or advanced vehicle manufacturing. During the clean energy transition, we will insure landowners, communities of color and tribal nations are at the table.

The text of Houser’s amendment supporting the continued fracking of natural gas is below:

Democrats are committed to closing the Halliburton loophole that stripped the Environmental Protection Agency of its ability to regulate hydraulic fracturing, and ensuring tough safeguards are in place, including Safe Drinking Water provisions, to protect local water supplies. We believe hydraulic fracturing should not take place where states and local communities oppose it. We will reduce methane emissions from all oil and gas production and transportation by at least 40-45% below 2005 levels by 2025 through common-sense standards for both new and existing sources and by repairing and replacing thousands of miles of leaky pipes. This will both protect our climate and create thousands of good-paying jobs.
Also unanimously adopted was language introduced by Sanders delegate Russell Greene of Progressive Democrats of America:
Democrats believe it would be a grave mistake for the United States to wait for another nation to lead the world in combating the global climate emergency. In fact, we must move first in launching a green industrial revolution, because that is the key to getting others to follow; and because it is in our own national interest to do so. Just as America’s greatest generation led the effort to defeat the Axis Powers during World War II, so must our generation now lead a World War II-type national mobilization to save civilization from catastrophic consequences. We must think beyond Paris. In the first 100 days of the next administration, the President will convene a summit of the world’s best engineers, climate scientists, climate experts, policy experts, activists and indigenous communities to chart a course toward the healthy future we all want for our families and communities.

Draft 2016 Democratic Platform's Climate Mentions

Posted by Brad Johnson Fri, 01 Jul 2016 20:46:00 GMT

Climate Hawks Vote is calling for the Democratic Platform to call for a national ban on fracking.

Preamble

Under President Obama’s leadership . . . We are getting more of our energy from the sun and wind, and importing less oil from overseas.

Democrats believe that climate change poses a real and urgent threat to our economy, our national security, and our children’s health and futures, and that Americans deserve the jobs and security that come from becoming the clean energy superpower of the 21st century.

2. Create Good-Paying Jobs

We will build 21st century energy and water systems, modernize our schools, and continue to support the expansion of high-speed broadband networks. We will protect communities from the impact of climate change by investing in green and resilient infrastructure.

c. Clean Energy Jobs
We must help American workers and businesses compete for jobs and investments in global clean energy, high-tech products, internet technology products, and advanced manufacturing and vehicles. And we must make American manufacturing more internationally competitive by making it the greenest and most efficient in the world, including by investing in industrial energy efficiency.

3. Fight for Economic Fairness and Against Inequality
d. Taxes
Democrats will claw back tax breaks for 22 companies that ship jobs overseas, eliminate tax breaks for big oil and gas companies, and crack 23 down on inversions and other methods companies use to dodge their tax responsibilities.

e. Trade
On the Trans Pacific Partnership (TPP), there are a diversity of views in the party. Many Democrats are on record stating that the agreement does not meet the standards set out in this platform; other Democrats have expressed support for the agreement.

4. Bring Americans Together and Remove Barriers to Create Ladders of Opportunity
k. Honoring Indigenous Tribal Nations
We are committed to principles of environmental justice in Indian Country and we recognize that nature in all its life forms has the right to exist, persist, maintain, and regenerate its vital cycles. We call for a climate change policy that protects tribal resources, protects tribal health, and provides accountability through accessible, culturally appropriate participation and strong enforcement. Our climate change policy will cut carbon emission, address poverty, invest in disadvantaged communities, and improve both air quality and public health. We support the tribal nations to develop wind, solar and other clean energy jobs.

6. Combat Climate Change, Build a Clean Energy Economy, and Secure Environmental Justice

Climate change is an urgent threat and a defining challenge of our time. Fifteen of the hottest years on record have occurred this century. While Donald Trump has called climate change a “hoax”, 2016 is on track to break global temperature records once more. Cities from Miami to Baltimore are already threatened by rising seas. California and the West have suffered years of brutal drought. Alaska has been scorched by wildfire. New York has been battered by superstorms, and Texas swamped by flash floods. The best science tells us that without ambitious, immediate action to cut carbon pollution and other greenhouse gases across our economy, all of these impacts will be far worse in the future. We cannot leave our children a planet that has been profoundly damaged.

Democrats share a deep commitment to tackling the climate challenge; creating millions of good-paying middle class jobs; reducing greenhouse gas emissions more than 80 percent below 2005 levels by 2050; and meeting the pledge President Obama put forward in the landmark Paris Agreement, which aims to keep global temperature increases to “well below” two degrees Celsius and to pursue efforts to limit global temperature increases to 1.5 degrees Celsius. We believe America must be running entirely on clean energy by mid-century. We will take bold steps to slash carbon pollution and protect clean air at home, lead the fight against climate change around the world, ensure no Americans are left out or left behind as we accelerate the transition to a clean energy economy, and be responsible stewards of our natural resources and our public lands and waters. Democrats reject the notion that we have to choose between protecting our planet and creating good-paying jobs. We can and we will do both.

Clean Energy Economy
We are committed to getting 50 percent of our electricity from clean energy sources within a decade, with half a billion solar panels installed within four years and enough renewable energy to power every home in the country. We will cut energy waste in American homes, schools, hospitals, and offices; modernize our electric grid; and make American manufacturing the cleanest and most efficient in the world, creating new jobs and saving families and businesses money on their energy bills. And we will transform American transportation by reducing oil consumption through cleaner fuels, making new investments in public transportation, expanding electrification of the vehicle fleet, increasing the fuel efficiency of cars, boilers, ships, and trucks, and by building bicycle and pedestrian infrastructure across our urban and suburban areas. Democrats believe the tax code must reflect our commitment to a clean energy future by eliminating special tax breaks and subsidies for fossil fuel companies as well as defending and extending tax incentives for energy efficiency and clean energy.

Democrats are committed to defending, implementing, and extending smart pollution and efficiency standards, including the Clean Power Plan, fuel economy standards for automobiles and heavy-duty vehicles, building codes and appliance standards, and the reduction of methane emissions from oil and gas production. We will work to expand access to cost-saving renewable energy by low-income households, create good-paying jobs in communities that have struggled with energy poverty, and oppose efforts by utilities to limit consumer choice or slow clean energy deployment. We support President Obama’s decision to reject the Keystone XL pipeline. And we believe that the federal government should lead by example, which is why we will take steps to power the government with 100 percent clean electricity.

Environmental and Climate Justice
Democrats believe clean air and clean water are basic rights of all Americans. Yet as we saw in Flint, Michigan, low-income communities and communities of color are disproportionately home to environmental justice “hot spots,” where air pollution, water pollution, and toxic hazards like lead increase health and economic hardship. The impacts of climate change will also disproportionately affect low-income and minority communities, tribal nations, and Alaska Native villages—all of which suffer the worst losses during extreme weather and have the fewest resources to prepare. Simply put, this is environmental racism. The fight against climate change must not leave any community out or behind—including the coal communities who kept America’s lights on for generations. Democrats will fight to make sure these workers and their families get the benefits they have earned and the respect they deserve, and we will make new investments in energy producing communities to help create jobs and build a brighter and more resilient economic future.

All corporations owe it to their shareholders to fully analyze and disclose the risks they face, including climate risk. Those who fail to do so should be held accountable. Democrats also respectfully request the Department of Justice to investigate allegations of corporate fraud on the part of fossil fuel companies accused of misleading shareholders and the public on the scientific reality of climate change.

Public Lands and Waters
Democrats believe in the conservation and collaborative stewardship of our shared natural heritage: the public lands and waterways, the oceans, Great Lakes, the Arctic, and all that makes America’s great outdoors priceless. As a nation, we need policies and investments that will keep America’s public lands public, strengthen protections for our natural and cultural resources, increase access to parks and public lands for all Americans, protect species and wildlife, and harness the immense economic and social potential of our public lands and waters.

We oppose drilling in the Arctic and off the Atlantic coast, and believe we need to reform fossil fuel leasing on public lands. We can phase down extraction of fossil fuels from our public lands, starting with the most polluting sources, while making our public lands and waters engines of the clean energy economy and creating jobs across the country.

11. Global Threats
g. Climate Change
Climate change poses an urgent and severe threat to our national security. According to the military, climate change is a threat multiplier that is already contributing to new conflicts over resources, catastrophic natural disasters, and the degradation of vital ecosystems across the globe. While Donald Trump says that climate change is a “hoax” created by and for the Chinese, Democrats recognize the danger facing our country and our planet. We believe the United States must lead in forging a robust global solution to the climate crisis. We will not only meet the goals we set in Paris, we will seek to exceed them and push other countries to do the same by slashing carbon pollution and rapidly driving down emissions of potent greenhouse gases like hydrofluorocarbons. We will support developing countries in their efforts to mitigate carbon pollution and other greenhouse gases, deploy more clean energy, and invest in climate resilience and adaptation. And as a proud Arctic nation, we are against putting the region at risk through drilling in the Arctic Ocean or the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge. Instead, while protecting our strategic interests, we will seek collaborative, science-based approaches to be good stewards of the rapidly changing Arctic region.

Hillary Clinton: "We're going to put a lot of coal miners and coal companies out of business."

Posted by Brad Johnson Mon, 14 Mar 2016 16:06:00 GMT

Clinton at town hallAt last night’s Democratic town hall in Columbus, Ohio, Hillary Clinton bluntly declared her intention to shut down the American coal industry in order to fight global warming pollution. Clinton went on to say that “we’ve got to move away from coal, and all the other fossil fuels.” Her declaration of war on the fossil-fuel industry was in the context of her plan to support job transitions into renewable energy and other sectors for the coal miners:

“I’m the only candidate which has a policy about how to bring economic opportunity — using clean, renewable energy as the key — into coal country. Because we’re going to put a lot of coal miners and coal companies out of business. And we’re going to make it clear that we don’t want to forget those people. Those people labored in those mines for generations, losing their health, often losing their lives, to turn our lights and power our factories. Now we’ve got to move away from coal, and all the other fossil fuels. But I don’t want to move away from the people who did their best to produce the energy we rely on.”

By stating that “we’ve got to move away” from all fossil fuels, Clinton recognized the first law of climate policy: global warming won’t end until we stop burning fossil fuels.

However, in this campaign she is promoting a long glide path towards that goal, which involves increased domestic and international fracking as a “bridge” to a zero-carbon pollution future. She has not set a date for such a transition; like her Democratic opponent, Senator Bernie Sanders of Vermont, she has set a goal of an 80 percent reduction in domestic greenhouse pollution by 2050. Unlike Sanders she supports continued domestic production of fossil fuels for domestic use and for export, which threatens the climate goals set by President Barack Obama and her successor at the State Department, John Kerry.

Clinton misspoke when she claimed to be the “only candidate which has a policy about how to bring economic opportunity — using clean, renewable energy as the key — into coal country.” In fact, in December Sanders introduced legislation with that specific aim, the Clean Energy Worker Just Transition Act (S. 2398). The 2007 climate legislation introduced by Sanders and Sen. Barbara Boxer (D-Calif.) and 2013 Boxer-Sanders climate legislation had similar provisions.

In fact, in 2007 Clinton co-sponsored a Sanders amendment which successfully allocated $100 million for green-collar job training and resources, including for displaced energy-industry workers.

Bernie Sanders: 'Hillary Clinton Supports Fracking. I Do Not.'

Posted by Brad Johnson Fri, 26 Feb 2016 15:27:00 GMT

“Hillary Clinton supports fracking. I do not.”

These words appeared in a recent fundraising email from Democratic presidential candidate Bernie Sanders, which fiercely attacked fracking and Hillary Clinton’s support from and for the natural gas industry.

In blunt language, Sanders contrasted his call for a national moratorium on fracking against Clinton’s fundraising from natural gas investors:
Just days before the Iowa caucus, Hillary Clinton left the campaign trail for a high-dollar fundraiser at a hedge fund. That same hedge fund is a major investor in fracking, an incredibly destructive practice of extracting natural gas by pumping hundreds of secret chemicals into the ground.

Hillary Clinton supports fracking. I do not.

And just as I believe you can’t take on Wall Street while taking their money, I don’t believe you can take on climate change effectively while taking money from those who would profit off the destruction of the planet.

Sanders’ email comes on the heels of the Clinton campaign’s February 12th release of a policy promoting new natural-gas extraction and infrastructure. Clinton’s promotion of “safe and responsible natural gas production” (the phrase “safe and responsible” was used five times) was praised by LiUNA, a trade union that had vigorously supported the construction of the Keystone XL pipeline.

“Domestically produced natural gas can play an important role in the transition to a clean energy economy,” Clinton’s policy position states, making no mention of the candidate’s February 4th pledge, caught on camera, to ban the extraction of fossil fuels, including natural gas, from public lands.

The conflict between Sanders and Clinton on natural gas is set to become a point of major political contention, as voters go to the polls next month in states overrun by fracking, including Oklahoma and Texas on March 1, Kansas and Nebraska on March 6, and Ohio on March 15. These states are reeling from the boom and bust of the fracking industry, left with earthquakes, degraded water supplies, and thousands of non-union workers exploited and poisoned by the private fracking companies Clinton’s donors have financed. Fights over natural-gas pipelines and facilities have mobilized activists in dozens of other states.

On a national scale, a growing body of scientific evidence is building that the climate benefits of switching from coal to natural gas were a total mirage, with the catastrophic Porter Ranch methane blowout the most visible and extreme example of a nationwide surge in methane leakage as a result of the domestic fracking boom promoted by the Bush and Obama administrations. Methane is a greenhouse gas that is 80 times more potent than carbon dioxide on a twenty-year timespan.

Read Sanders’ full email:

Sisters and Brothers -

Just days before the Iowa caucus, Hillary Clinton left the campaign trail for a high-dollar fundraiser at a hedge fund. That same hedge fund is a major investor in fracking, an incredibly destructive practice of extracting natural gas by pumping hundreds of secret chemicals into the ground.

Hillary Clinton supports fracking. I do not.

And just as I believe you can’t take on Wall Street while taking their money, I don’t believe you can take on climate change effectively while taking money from those who would profit off the destruction of the planet.

Please contribute to our campaign right now to help elect a president who isn’t beholden to special interests that profit off of pollution.

Dick Cheney pushed through changes to the Safe Drinking Water Act that legalized fracking, despite the fact that fracking companies keep the chemicals they pump into the ground a secret.

People who live near fracking locations no longer have drinkable water, and in some cases their tap water is actually flammable. Oklahoma has even seen a rash of earthquakes that many believe are a result of fracking.

In short, fracking is a disaster for the planet.

We need a president who is not beholden to special interests and who will do everything in his or her power to fight the effects of climate change. It’s clear that to elect that kind of president, millions of people need to come together and chip in whatever they can.

Make a contribution to our campaign now to send a message that you want to elect a president who will do everything possible to fight climate change.

We can’t afford to let people who would destroy our planet elect our next president.

Thank you for your support.

In solidarity,

Bernie Sanders

Bernie's Army: 2016's Class of Progressive Candidates

Posted by Brad Johnson Fri, 12 Feb 2016 23:17:00 GMT

The presidential campaign of Senator Bernie Sanders (I-VT) is is calling for a “political revolution” to take control of our political system from moneyed interests. His campaign has been criticized repeatedly for offering an ambitious democratic-socialist agenda that would be blocked by a Republican-dominated Congress. Clinton’s less ambitious but still liberal plans will similarly face a stone wall of GOP opposition. As they might say, “Oh yeah? You and what army?”

Thus, the policy success of the Democratic candidates relies in large part on whether they are buoyed by wins down the ticket. The Clinton campaign and its supporters argue such down-ballot successes are a political impossibility.

However, as David Dayen noted in a recent article in The New Republic, a wave of progressive candidates – which he dubbed “Bernie’s Army” – is running for Congress. Below is a list of candidates who may deserve that label – candidates endorsed for progressive platforms, who have endorsed the Sanders presidential campaign.

Endorsements Local
Candidate Race Notes
Kim Foxx IL-Cook County State’s Atty DFA
Jennifer Boysko VA-HD-86 DFA
U.S. Senate
Candidate Race Notes
Alan Grayson FL-SEN BA
Rob Hogg IA-SEN CHV
Tom Fiegen IA-SEN EBS
Donna Edwards MD-SEN BA
PG Sittenfield OH-SEN BA
John Fetterman PA-SEN TNR EBS
Russ Feingold WI-SEN BA
U.S. House of Representatives
Candidate Race Notes
Raul Grijalva* AZ-03 EBS
Wendy Reed CA-23 EBS
Lou Vince CA-25 BA
Nanette Barragan CA-44 CHV BA
Bao Nguyen CA-46 EBS BA
Susannah Randolph FL-09 DFA
Tim Canova FL-23 EBS TNR running against DWS
Joseline Peña-Melnyk MD-04 DFA BA
Jamie Raskin MD-08 DFA CHV BA running against Chris Matthews’ wife
Paul Clements MI-06 BA
Pat Murphy IA-01 BA
Mike Noland IL-08 BA
Keith Ellison* MN-05 EBS
Carol Shea-Porter* NH-01 BA
Alex Law NJ-01 BA EBS
Peter Jacob NJ-07 EBS
Lucy Flores NV-04 EBS DFA TNR
Ruben Kihuen NV-04 BA
DuWayne Gregory NY-02 BA
Bill Perkins NY-13 EBS
Diana Hird NY-18 EBS
Eric Kingson NY-24 EBS BA
Zephyr Teachout NY-19 EBS DFA
Tom Guild OK-05 EBS
Shaughnessy Naughton PA-08 CHV
Angela Marx WA-03 EBS
Parmila Jayapal WA-07 EBS
Mike Manypenny WV-01 EBS

Incumbents are marked with an asterisk.

Details of Sanders Amendments to Lieberman-Warner

Posted by Brad Johnson Sat, 03 Nov 2007 19:13:00 GMT

At this week’s subcommittee markup of Lieberman-Warner (S 2191), Senators Sanders (I-Vt.) and Barrasso (R-Wyo.) introduced several amendments, some of which were adopted. The full list gives a good sense of the ideological, political, and economic battles to come as the full Environment and Public Works Committee holds hearings on the bill.

Thanks to the responsive communications staff of each senator, Hill Heat has summaries of all the amendments, and the full text of those introduced by Sanders. Sen. Barrasso’s amendments will be described in the next post.

Amendments were defeated unless otherwise noted.

SANDERS
  1. Funding for Renewables from the Auction Proceeds The amendment will specify that no less than 28% of the funds under the “zero and low carbon energy technologies program” will be used for renewables (as defined in the Energy Policy Act of 2005). The 28% is the same percentage as the maximum amount available to the “advanced coal and sequestration technologies program.”
  2. Reduce Funding for Vehicle Re-tooling & Provide Funding for Energy and Environmental Block Grants This amendment would reduce from 20% to 4% the amount of funding from the auction revenues that would be provided to the automobile manufacturing sector and would put the 16% difference into funding an energy and environmental block grant program, whose purposes are to assist State, Indian tribal, and local governments in implementing strategies -
    1. to reduce fossil fuel emissions created as a result of activities within the boundaries of the States or units of local government in an environmentally sustainable way that, to the maximum extent practicable, maximizes benefits for local and regional communities;
    2. to reduce the total energy use of the States, Indian tribes, and units of local government; and
    3. to improve energy efficiency in the transportation sector, building sector, and any other appropriate sectors.
  3. Adopted Increase the Accountability for the Automobile Manufacturing Sector Under the Auction Proceeds This amendment would change language in the bill so that to get funding from the auction, the automobile industry would have to be making vehicles that get “at least 35 miles per gallon combined fuel economy calculated on an energy-equivalent basis.”
  4. Withdrawn; similar text in substitute amendment Scientific Lookback This amendment would require the EPA Administrator, following a report by the National Academies of Sciences (required by the underlying language), to promulgate regulations to tighten the emissions caps if the latest science suggests that we are not on track to avert a 2 degree Celsius increase in global average temperature.
  5. Decrease the Amount of Years Free Allowances Are Given Away to Power Plants & Industry This amendment would reduce, by 10 years, the amount of time the power sector and the industrial sector are given pollution permits (for free by the federal government).
  6. Coal-fired Power Plants This amendment specifies that no coal-fired power plant will commence operation unless it captures and sequesters at least 85% of its CO2.
  7. Withdrawn New Entrant Allowances for Renewables Only This amendment would only allow utility-scale renewable projects to receive allowances under the new entrant provision in the bill.
  8. Offsets This amendment would limit offsets to an annual amount of no more than 420 million metric tons of allowances, instead of allowing each entity to meet 15% of its emissions reductions with offsets.
  9. Emission Reduction Targets This amendment will require the Administrator to promulgate annual emission limits to reduce total US greenhouse gas emissions by 15% below 2005 levels by 2020 and 80% below 2005 levels by 2050

Sanders and Lautenberg State Climate Legislation Principles

Posted by Brad Johnson Thu, 18 Oct 2007 05:22:00 GMT

Sens. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) and Frank Lautenberg (D-NJ) yesterday released a statement of principles for judging climate change legislation. Both are members of the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee’s Subcommittee on Private Sector and Consumer Solutions to Global Warming and Wildlife Protection, representing the majority with Sen. Lieberman and Sen. Baucus; Lieberman and Warner plan to submit cap-and-trade legislation to the subcommittee today.

Earlier in the month, a group of liberal Democratic senators outlined their goals for climate change legislation, praising the Lieberman-Warner effort.

Here are the Sanders-Lautenberg principles in short:
  • Targets must be set to cap atmospheric concentration of greenhouse gases at a max of 450 PPM CO2 equivalent, latest science continually taken into acount
  • Quick transition to polluter-pays auction, with monies providing economic relief and significant investment in renewables and energy efficiency
  • No federal pre-emption of state efforts
  • Additional policies such as building and fuel standards and CCS requirements that ensure rapid deployment of clean energy technology
  • Offsets should be limited, real, verifiable, additional, permanent and enforceable
  • The Solution Must Recognize the Gravity of the Problem The scientific evidence is clear that humanity is responsible for global warming. As such, any action we take to prevent it must be bold, aggressive, and comprehensive enough to prevent the devastating effects of catastrophic climate change. Targets must be set to ensure that the global concentration of greenhouse gases rises to no more than 450 parts per million carbon dioxide equivalent. This requires a strong 2020 target to get the country shifted to a low-carbon economy and to make the long-term reductions that are needed in the fight against global warming. Additionally, we must ensure that the latest science is continually considered and informs our ongoing action.
  • Quickly Transition to Polluter Pays We must quickly transition to a polluter-pays scheme, and an auction is the most economically efficient and fair way to do so. Auctioning allowances will provide the incentive for companies to develop and deploy cutting-edge, low-carbon technologies. Additionally, the increased revenues from a full auction will undoubtedly help to provide relief to all those affected by global warming, help support our transition to a low-carbon economy, and to fund a significant increase in the country’s use of renewable and energy efficiency technologies, including solar and wind.
  • Encourage State Leadership The federal government should set the floor, not the ceiling, for action on and innovation in addressing global warming – consistent with the Clean Air Act and other major environmental laws. Over the past few years, states have stepped in to fill the unfortunate void left by a lack of federal leadership on global warming. As we now work to catch up, states must be able to continue to provide leadership and be able to pursue innovative strategies to protect their citizens from the risks of global warming.
  • Additional Policies to Include in a Cap and Trade Bill While a cap and trade bill sets the basis for the mandatory emission reductions that are needed throughout the country, additional policies are needed to ensure the rapid and often cheaper deployment of clean energy technologies. Examples of such policies include green building standards, which will reduce long-term energy costs for the occupants of the property, a requirement that any new coal plant deploy carbon capture and storage technology, and policies that offer a roadmap for reduced carbon transportation fuels.
  • Flexibility Mechanisms Must Not Result in Illusory Emission Reductions While theoretically offsets yield the same global warming benefit for less cost, in reality it is difficult, and some believe impossible, to ensure their long-term environmental integrity. As a result, the use of offsets should be strictly limited. In addition, they must be real, verifiable, additional, permanent and enforceable and should not undermine the signals to industry for technology development and deployment.