Economics for the Earth Blog

Friends of the Earth Statement on the Kerry-Boxer Draft Climate Bill

Posted Sep. 30, 2009 / Posted by: RConnors

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Contact:
Ben Schreiber, 202-222-0752, bschreiber@foe.org
Elizabeth Bast, 202-641-7203, ebast@foe.org

Friends of the Earth Statement on the Kerry-Boxer Draft Climate Bill (REVISED**)

Washington, D.C.— Friends of the Earth President Erich Pica had the following statement in response to the Kerry-Boxer draft climate bill:

"We commend Senators Boxer and Kerry for their dedication to combating the important problem of climate change but we cannot support a bill that fails to solve the problem. Overall the draft is riddled with loopholes and does not go far enough to protect the planet. 

Areas of concern include:

·         Emissions Cap: Science demands at least a 40% reduction in emissions, compared to 1990, by 2020. The draft bill has emissions reductions targets of about 20 percent below 2005 levels – nowhere near what a fair U.S. contribution to a global emissions reductions should be to avert climate catastrophe

·         Offset Loopholes: The extensive use of unreliable offsets in this draft bill, up to 2 billion tons a year, seriously undermines the integrity of the already weak emissions cap and delays the health, environmental, and economic benefits of shifting to a low-carbon economy.

·         Methane Regulations: The House-passed bill would require emissions from landfills, coal mines and natural gas pipelines to be regulated, but under the Kerry-Boxer draft, these sources can voluntarily capture methane in exchange for offset payments.

·         Markets Regulations: The bill would creative a massive, new and complex commodities market with almost no specifics on how that market would be regulated.

·         Subsidizes Dirty Energy: The bill gives special subsidies to expensive, unsafe and environmentally damaging technologies such as nuclear reactors and carbon capture and sequestration and capture for coal plants, not to mention ambiguous incentives for biofuels.

Friends of the Earth's policy team will be taking a deeper look at the bill in further days and release a more detailed analysis at a later date so that we can work with the Senate to pass legislation that will fairly and effectively address the problem of climate change."

**Upon on a more thorough reading of the draft bill, we acknowledge that the Clean Air Act section of our previous statement was not an accurate reflection of the bill’s text.

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Friends of the Earth (www.foe.org ) and our network of grassroots groups in 77 countries fight to defend the environment and create a more healthy, just world. We're progressive environmental advocates who pull no punches and speak sometimes uncomfortable truths to power. Our current campaigns focus on clean energy and solutions to global warming, protecting people from toxic and new, potentially harmful technologies, and promoting smarter, low-pollution transportation alternatives.

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