Is Lieberman changing his tune on pollution credit give-away?

Joe Lieberman has become persona non-grata for many liberal, even his name might drive some to hypertension.  For many, it is a name all too often connected with mistaken paths, whether on Iraq or Iraq or Habeas Corpus or …

Is this name about to take a shift and take a leading position in the US Senate on what is, quite likely, the defining issue of the century?

At the moment, there is the Lieberman-Warner bill on Global Warming.  It is, well, marginal and focus on seven years, rather than seven generations.  

Has Joe changed his mind on a critical issue, suggesting that he is placing Americans (and the globe’s) interests before the concerns of special interests?

Earlier today, Joe Lieberman appeared as part of a Progressive Policy Institute forum: Cap-And-Trade 101: Using Markets to Fight Climate Change.  

Lieberman spoke to the dwindling ranks of skeptics …

“a lot of the people who were skeptical have gotten religion …”

In the past, concerns were informed or deepened by scientific by models, “today, the impact of Global Warming is clear to our eyes.”

To date, the “bipartisan” Lieberman-Warner Climate Change bill has included concepts for, in essence, giving away the right to pollute when it comes to Global Warming … giving away some 76% of pollution credits for free.  

In the talk, Lieberman discussed the process which Lieberman and Warner have been going through over the past several months in dealing with their

Now, Lieberman spoke to imputs from other Senators and “stakeholders” who have been asked for their opinions.  Notably, Lieberman’s and Warnre’s definition of stakeholder remains totally opaque to me.  Have you been asked your concerns?  Neither have I.

But, Senator Lieberman opened the door for our action in his comments today.

As Politico reported, “Lieberman open to climate change compromise”. (path to link to Lieberman’s comments) Right now, the Lieberman-Warner, again, gives away 76% of pollution credits, handing them over with no financial gain to the taxpayer — a handing away of massive amounts of value, literally trillions of dollars of value over the coming decades.

In other words, the right to pollute the air you, I, and our children breathe is to be given away to polluters, handing away financial value to those who have a long record of already polluting rather than securing the value of the right to pollute for the coming good. Or, perhaps, given the credits to every American citizen in equal share, for us to profit from (or to retire without use) rather than giving them away to serial polluters.

Now, Lieberman suggested that that door is not closed.

“We’ve heard [calls for a 100 percent auction] from some stakeholders and heard that from some of our members. We’re thinking about it. Warner and I haven’t closed our minds to that. It’s on the table,” he said.

You, I, we must act to help make sure that it is not just on the table, but such a 100% auction becomes sine quo non for a reasonable bill.

Not all business will oppose this.  From the Politico report

Although industry would prefer not to pay for the credits, some companies are open to the cap-and-trade system. “A lot of those companies are going to need that cash” to invest in clean technology, said Steven Kline, a PG&E representative. He said his company supports cap-and-trade and would not oppose a full auction in the future once those investments have been made.  

Those concerned about finding a sensible path toward a Climate Friendly (carbon neutral) and Prosperous Economy will find allies in surprising places.

While Joe might suggest that he is open to doing something right, the reality is that the Democratic leadership has enabled people ‘moderate’ on Global Warming issues and approaches to tackle it to be in the driver’s seat for developing legislation.

The Cunctator has a critically important diary earlier this evening,
Hill Heat: Who’s Writing Global Warming Legislation?  Dingell … Lieberman … Warner … Boucher … This is a scary foursome.  From that diary:

Dingell literally represents Detroit. His wife works for General Motors.
Boucher is a coal-district representative who supports coal-to-liquids and tried to make California’s greenhouse gas emissions law illegal.
Lieberman used to be a Democrat.
Warner has a 14% lifetime score from the League of Conservation Voters.

The Lieberman-Warner bill is inadequate in many ways … having a 70% reduction target for CO2 by 2050 (okay, boring) and slow start to cleaning up our act, as opposed to a sensible Climate Friendly Prosperous Economy (e.g., a carbon neutral or carbon negative society) by 2050.  Thus, there are many things to be pushing, especially when we consider the four in driver’s seats on Climate Change legislation.

We — that means you — should be contacting your representatives to influence the process.

Start with, if you wish, Congress.ORG, write your representative, send in a letter to the editor.

Action items for today’s letter:

  1.  Support Citizen, not special interest, Ownership of  Pollution Credits — it is our air that we are seeing polluting, make them pay us for dirtying our air.  NO GIVEAWAYS OF POLLUTION CREDITS in Climate Change legislation.
  1.  The 2050 target: a Climate Friendly Prosperous Society that will enhance human security for millenia to come.  70% by 2050 is, simply, slowing the onset of catastrophic climate change.  80% is an absolute minimum, 90% becomes reasonable, and Carbon Neutrality (actually carbon negative) should be our target. Let us reach high, for the sky, and protect ourselves and future generations.

Act …Now …If not us, who?  

If not now, when?  



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