News Release

Lieberman-Warner: Give Away to Coal?

A subcommittee of the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee subcommittee voted today to advance the Lieberman-Warner bill — which sets caps on greenhouse gas emissions and promotes “carbon trading” — to the full committee.

The following analysts and activists are available for comment:

ERICH PICA
Pica is director of economic policy for Friends of the Earth and co-author of the just-released report “Windfalls in Lieberman-Warner Global Warming Bill: Quantifying the Fossil Fuel Industry Giveaways.”

He said today: “The Lieberman-Warner bill will reward corporate polluters by handing them pollution permits worth almost half a trillion dollars. The bill:

* “Provides the coal industry and other fossil fuel industries [with] pollution permits worth $436 billion over the life of the legislation; 58 percent of this amount goes to coal.

* “Returns revenue raised through auctions directly to polluters — for example, an additional $324 billion would subsidize the coal industry’s efforts to develop carbon capture and storage mechanisms.

* “Directs another $522 billion of auction revenue to low- or zero-emissions technologies, which could result in handouts to the nuclear power, big hydro and coal industries, which are not clean. (These funds could also be directed toward important clean technologies, such as wind and solar — the legislation is not specific.)”
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DAPHNE WYSHAM
Wysham is a fellow at the Institute for Policy Studies. She said today: “The main sponsors of the Lieberman-Warner bill made it clear that profits for the carbon cartel come ahead of aggressive action, based on what the science requires we do, to protect our increasingly unstable climate. Each of Senator Bernie Sanders’ attempts at progressive amendments to the bill were rejected by the bill’s sponsors, in favor of actions that would provide billions if not trillions of dollars in giveaways to the coal, oil, gas and nuclear industries. [Sanders voted against the bill.] We can get to zero greenhouse gas emissions without nuclear power by 2050. However, the Lieberman-Warner bill would, at best, get us only half the way there, while handing even more power to the very industries that got us into this hot water.”
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JESSY TOLKAN
Executive director of programs for the Energy Action Coalition, Tolkan said today: “While many politicians and corporations have stalled — and in many instances actively fought — efforts to curb greenhouse gas emissions and promote cleaner fuels, young people have organized in a concerted effort to help avert a climate crisis and build a cleaner, more economically sound and healthier future.

“The Energy Action Coalition has organized Powershift 2007, the largest youth summit on climate change ever, which will draw over 5,000 people from every state who will converge on the nation’s capital on Nov. 2 to 5, to give voice to that much-needed perspective to Capitol Hill.”
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For more information, contact at the Institute for Public Accuracy:
Sam Husseini, (202) 347-0020; or David Zupan, (541) 484-9167.