Okay, there’s a new bill out there Global Warming: Lieberman-Warner. BiPartisan as it comes from the one-person strong Connecticut-For-Lieberman party and a Republican. This bill is, well, politely a mediocrity, something impressive if James Inhofe (R-Exxon) were still chair of the committe, but with Barbara Boxer holding the gavel.
Sadly, too many people — environmentalists and political leaders — can’t figure out how to praise it too highly.
Boxer praised it, reportedly, as a “hugh breakthrough in the fight against global warming”.
What, that John Warner, who has fought so hard against the Cape Wind (and, by extension, all off-shore wind projects), is actually backing something that Inhofe (R-Exxon) wouldn’t like?
A hero of mine, Joe Romm, wrote “It looks pretty good to me …”
Sadly, even people who know better are framing it horribly. Such as USPIRG’s comment that the proposal is “an encouraging starting point” for the Senate’s GW discussions. StopGlobalWarming.ORG comments that
Some enviros wish the bill were a little stronger, calling for the necessary 80 percent reductions by 2050, but for the most part, everyone’s just happy to see strong, bipartisan legislation making its way into the conversation.
Sadly, key people are calling the battle this way:
“It’s between Bingaman and Lieberman-Warner,” said Brooks Yeager, vice president of the nonpartisan Climate Policy Center.
And, well, the Democratic leadership seems determined to put something on the table that has Global Warming / Climate Change in the title.
But, the choice is between the disastrous Bingaman and … Lieberman-Warner.
Well, who is where here? Hill Heat had a good summary of key enviro-advocacy groups:
US-CAP members Environmental Defense, Pew Center on Climate Change, and Nature Conservancy offer unequivocal praise of Lieberman-Warner.
NRDC (US-CAP) and Union of Concerned Scientists say it’s a starting point that needs fixing.
Friends of the Earth and the Sierra Club say it has major problems; the Sierra Club and League of Conservation Voters say that focus should stay on the Sanders-Boxer bill.
Well, count me in that third group.
What are show stoppers to me?
- 70% reduction by 2050, not 90% (with 80% as bare minimum)
- Stair step approach that only slowly reduces emissions
- Not aggressive enough early on, delayed signficant impact
- Too much subsidizing of industries (like coal) that have had a free ride too long on the backs of our health and a healthy ecosystem
- Too much free giveaways to polluters upfront, in essence rewarding them for having polluted and penalizing both companies that have already reduced emissions and the taxpayer who won’t see financial gain from the value of these credits.
From my perspective, we have just one shot at good Global Warming legislation and “almost good enough” isn’t, well, good enough.