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Old 01-09-2003, 08:39 PM   #1
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McCain/Leiberman Fight Global Warming

Lieberman, McCain Offer Plan Harnessing Market Forces To Counter Global Warming
Bipartisan "cap and trade" bill would guarantee greenhouse gas reductions through private sector innovation

WASHINGTON Senators Joe Lieberman (D-CT) and John McCain (R-AZ) today unveiled legislation to curb global warming by establishing a market-based emissions credit trading system that will reduce greenhouse gas emissions and spur innovation by giving companies maximum flexibility in meeting emissions goals.

"By capping emissions and tapping market forces to meet those goals, this bill will heat up American innovation and cool down our changing climate," Lieberman said. "Our approach promises environmental progress in reducing harmful global warming, economic progress by creating new high-tech jobs to meet emissions goals, and international progress by showing our allies that we're serious about this global problem."

"Too much attention has been focused on the uncertainties, and not enough on what is known in tackling the problem at hand," McCain said. "This bill uses the best approach we know -- a market-based trading system -- to reduce emissions and give companies maximum flexibility in meeting requirements. Ultimately, the bill rewards improvements in energy efficiency and encourages advances in technologies."

The bill, which will be formally introduced soon, is the subject of a hearing today in the Senate Commerce Committee, which McCain will soon chair. Senator Lieberman is testifying at the hearing. The legislation, which is modeled after the successful acid rain trading program of the 1990 Clean Air Act, would require a reduction to 2000 carbon dioxide emission levels by the year 2010, and a reduction to 1990 levels by the year 2016. McCain and Lieberman began work on the legislation in August 2001.

The bill would affect emissions from the electricity generation, transportation (via petroleum refiners), industrial, and commercial economic sectors, which together account for 85 percent of overall U.S. greenhouse gas emissions. It would only apply to entities that emit more than 10,000 metric tons of greenhouse gases per year, and would not apply to individual car owners, homeowners, or the agricultural sector.

The bill would achieve reduction goals by allowing trading of emissions allowances on the open market, supported by a government inventory of emissions and emission reductions for individual companies and utilities. Companies would be required to submit one tradable allowance for each metric ton of greenhouse gas emissions, and companies could buy and sell credits among themselves.

Companies would have the economic choice of reducing their emissions to reduce their required allowances, or purchasing other companies' allowances to cover their continued emissions. Companies that have voluntarily undertaken efforts to reduce their greenhouse gases would receive credit for those actions.

The "cap and trade" approach, which is likely to be adopted by Japan, the European Union, and other parties to the Kyoto Protocol, is supported by the environmental community, the independent Pew Center on Global Climate Change, and was endorsed by the Wall Street Journal in a July 23, 2001 editorial. The approach has been extremely successful in reducing the emissions of acid-rain causing pollutants through a program established in the 1990 Clean Air Act. So far, the Bush Administration has declined to embrace a "cap and trade" concept, or offer any kind of plan that would reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

Global warming is a growing problem, with 2002 ending up as the second-warmest year on record. The ten warmest years have all occurred since 1987, with nine of them happening since 1990. A recent NASA study stated that the permanent summer ice cap over the Arctic Ocean is disappearing faster than expected and will likely be gone by the end of the century. Global warming is already posing a significant threat to the world's plants and animals, and that danger is due to rise.

A detailed summary of the legislation is available online at:

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Old 01-09-2003, 08:46 PM   #2
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What an excellent bill. I love it when bi-partisianship work for positive goals.

Thanks for sharing Dreadsox.

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Old 01-09-2003, 10:29 PM   #3
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