Senator Joseph Lieberman (ID-CT) and Senator John W. Warner (R-VA) have introduced a bill regarding climate change that is causing an upheaval in the US Senate.

Among some of the findings, the bill wishes to cap US greenhouse emissions at the current level by 2012 and then lower the cap each year between 2012 and 2050.

Senator James Inhofe(R-Okla.), a ranking member of the Environmental and Public Works Committee, said the wide range of reactions to the bill “underscores” the need for a debate on the bill.

November 1, 2007, the EPW subcommittee on Private Sector and Consumer Solutions to Global Warming and Wildlife Protection passed the bill by a vote of 4-3. Now the bill will go to the EPW full committee and Senator Barbara Boxer (D-Calf) intends to hold a full vote on the bill in the next couple of weeks.

“American families deserve to know the tremendous economic burden that will be imposed on them if the Lieberman-Warner bill becomes law,” said Senator Inhofe. “This bill, if enacted into law, would impose the equivalent of the largest tax increase in American history- larger than the Clinton-Gore 1993 tax increase. Unfortunately, it appears that the chair of this committee is committed to rushing this bill through the committee in just two weeks. As the ranking member of the committee, I am committed to working to ensure a thorough review of this bill takes place and committee members have all the facts before they vote on this devastating legislation.”

“To have a major Democratic Presidential candidate oppose Lieberman-Warner this strongly reveals the bill’s serious economic flaws,” continued Inhofe. “Senator Lieberman’s candid admission this week that the bill would cost hundreds of billions of dollars was yet another wakeup call about the costs that would be imposed on American families.”

“With the passage of the Lieberman-Warner bill through the Senate Environment and Public Works subcommittee we are finally on our way toward preventing the ravages of unfettered global warming,” said Senator Boxer. “I am looking forward to full committee hearings and briefings and then on to full committee markup, so that we can continue to make progress on the challenge of our generation. We must act now on behalf of the American people and on behalf of our beautiful God-given planet.”

There will be a full committee hearing on November 8, 2007.

There are considerable negative reactions to the bill. Former Federal Reserve Chairman Alan Greenspan said, “Cap-and-trade systems or carbon taxes are likely to be popular only until real people lose real jobs as their consequence. There is no effective way to meaningfully reduce emissions without negatively impacting a large part of an economy. Jobs will be lost and real incomes of workers constrained.”

Carl Pope, Sierra Club Executive Director said, “We are pleased that today’s subcommittee markup included incremental changes to improve the bill and we will continue to work vigorously to strengthen this proposal as it moves forward. While we support moving the bill into full committee, it unfortunately still falls short of what science requires and what economic fairness demands and thus we cannot yet offer our support of the bill. Just as bold action is needed to address the challenge of global warming, bold changes will need to be made to this legislation before we are able to support it. Our support is not contingent on perfection, but rather on whether a bill offers us a reasonably good chance of achieving our widely shared goals: preventing catastrophic global warming and bringing a clean energy future to life.”




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