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New Green Coalition Blasts Climate Bill

05/19/2010

15 groups, including Public Citizen Call on Congress to Choose Clean Energy, not Gulf-Style Disasters and Big Polluters

WASHINGTON – May 17 – The Climate Reality Check coalition (CRC)-consisting of faith, social justice, environmental, and other public interest organizations-announced today that the American Power Act introduced by Sens. John Kerry (MA) and Joe Lieberman (CT) is the wrong direction for U.S. climate and energy policy. The bill prioritizes reliance on offshore drilling and other dirty and dangerous technologies over effective pollution controls, clean energy, consumer protections, and creating real and just international climate solutions.

The coalition issued the following statement:

“The policies in the Kerry-Lieberman bill were wrong for the U.S. before the Deepwater Horizon disaster, and the Senate must recognize that they are wrong now. The well-being of our nation and the world are being sacrificed for the interests of big polluters, which continue to rake in record profits at the expense of the environment and the public. Our recent mining and drilling tragedies make clear that it’s time to choose clean and safe renewable energy for our future. We need legislation that prioritizes clean industries and energy efficiency, and which protects the Clean Air Act, not the dirty industries causing these crises. We need legislation that is sufficiently ambitious in curbing greenhouse gas emissions and in meeting our responsibilities to developing nations which are bearing the disproportionate brunt of the effects of climate change.”

The Climate Reality Check coalition is calling on senators to reject the American Power Act unless aggressive improvements are made. Members of the coalition agree that federal climate and energy legislation must:

  • RAPIDLY REDUCE POLLUTION Set an economy-wide cap on greenhouse emissions that is consistent with the best available science and that can be ratcheted down as necessary.
  • PRESERVE EXISTING TOOLS Preserve the Clean Air Act’s requirement that harmful global warming pollution be reduced, and preserve states’ authority to implement innovative solutions on their own.
  • REJECT LOOPHOLES Reject offsets and other loopholes that prevent pollution reductions from taking place in the U.S.
  • PROTECT FAMILIES AND COMMUNITIES Protect low- and middle- income families and vulnerable communities through stable, predictable, and transparent carbon pricing, and through low-income consumer protections and dividends.
  • INVEST IN CLEAN ENERGY Invest in the development and deployment of abundant clean energy and energy efficiency.
  • REJECT POLLUTER GIVEAWAYS Big polluters should pay when they pollute, not be handed giveaways.
  • LIVE UP TO OUR INTERNATIONAL OBLIGATIONS The United States must be a leader in supporting and funding effective and just international climate solutions.
See articles generated by Public Citizen and allies’ collective stand against the Senate climate bill:
Common Dreams posted the release:
http://www.commondreams.org/newswire/2010/05/17-18

Congress.org did an article:
Environmentalists split on climate bill
Some lobby for it while others advocate starting over.
http://www.congress.org/news/2010/05/18/environmentalists_split_on_climate_bill

E2 Wire of the Hill did article:
Green coalition blasts Senate climate bill
http://thehill.com/blogs/e2-wire/677-e2-wire/98243-green-coalition-blasts-senate-climate-bill

Allison Fisher is the Energy Organizer for Public Citizen
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One Comment leave one →
  1. Christie Hakim permalink
    05/20/2010 1:48 am

    Thank you, thank you! I’ve been hoping and praying for such a coalition on this most urgent of causes — and with a message that succinctly sets out essential elements to be included in any federal climate legislation. However, it’s glaring that MoveOn.org and the Sierra Club didn’t sign on. The ‘boosterish’ stance by leading environmental groups on the Kerry-Lieberman bill is lamentable and disappointing. The coalition’s clear and vigorous position on such issues as the emissions cap, carbon offsets, pricing, consumer protections, and alternative energy investments will make it much easier for citizens to lobby their legislators. As we’re learning from the battles over financial reform, ordinary Americans are having an impact on even the most conservative congress members in taking on the Big Banks. With appropriate prodding – and a united front — they could be equally effective in pushing for a strong climate bill. Let’s hope this is just the start of a nationwide movement.
    –Christie Hakim, San Francisco

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