NIRS Critiques Lieberman-Warner Climate Change Bill

Earmark cartoon from Taxpayers for Common Sense.

Although there has been criticism of earmarks, there are other giveaways, especially to the energy industry. February 8, Darren Samuelsohn and Katherine Ling, reporters for Environment and Energy Daily published their story, "Senate sponsors search for nuclear solutions," about the Lieberman-Warner America's Climate Security Act of 2007 (S. 2191). They quoted an unnamed Lieberman aide as saying regarding outreach to industry and environmentalists,

We don't know yet whether either side is going to respond....We're not announcing any type of negotiation that is starting. We're collecting information to see whether there can even be a discussion.

Accompanying the story was a special report on climate change and an analysis of the outlook for the bill's passage.

Some environmental and taxpayer organizations have already decided the bill is a bad idea and are starting their own outreach to Congress, before positions become cast in stone. For instance, the Nuclear Information Resource Service referred today to the February 8 story and said of the bill,
It’s too weak on climate….
It’s too strong on nuclear….

Specifically, the group criticized the “cap-and-trade” carbon system, which

could give billions of dollars—perhaps $500 Billion (no, that’s not a typo--$500 Billion)--to “zero or low-carbon” energy technologies, including dirty energy like nuclear power.
Moreover, the bill falls far short of the carbon emissions cuts necessary to address the climate crisis: a cut of only about 60-65% by 2050. There is a better way: we need to go carbon-free and nuclear-free, and it can be done by 2050—but only if we all act to make it happen.
In addition to S. 2191, the group predicts that

To make matters worse, pro-nuclear Senators—including Lieberman and Warner themselves—are planning to introduce numerous amendments on the Senate floor to provide additional support for the nuclear industry. They’re planning on including everything from more loan guarantees and other subsidies for new reactors, to setting up an “interim” high-level waste storage site, to forcing the opening of Yucca Mountain .

Friends of the Earth released its updated analysis of S. 2191 on January 30 and a fact sheet, after sending a joint letter with Greenpeace on December 5, outlining desired improvements in the bill, saying
Corporate polluters will hit the jackpot if global warming legislation proposed by Sens. Joe Lieberman and John Warner becomes law. With key amendments supported by Friends of the Earth failing in committee, the bill now on its way to the Senate floor would hand them pollution permits worth hundreds of billions of dollars. Stick with Friends of the Earth as we try to stop the giveaways again on the Senate floor.
Along with Taxpayers for Common Sense and U.S. Public Interest Research Group , FOE has launched a "Fix or Ditch It" campaign. Taxpayers' critique of energy handouts is here.

The Institute for Energy and Environmental Research is offering free downloads of its 2007 book, Carbon Free And Nuclear Free: A Roadmap for U.S. Energy Policy, by Arjun Makhijani, a joint project with the Nuclear Policy Research Institute.


elementaljim said...

there is a petition site http://care2.com/with an action alert email going out calling for people to link with it and sign this petition(Climate Security Act). I followed the sponsor links and found three. I emailed them and as I was looking for more info I came across your post.
So I thought you might like to know.
my email to them..
"Who are you?
Are you corporate or political shills ?
If not then pull this petition now. If you have done any research at all the first red flag should be "Lieberman"!
Anything proposed by Lieberman should suspect and very carefully reviewed.
This bill is a stepping stone for earmarks and subsidies for nuclear power.
It is NOT a move towards a better environment!

feel free to share

Beth Wellington said...

Hi Jim, I tried the link for the petition. If you left the correct one, then it is no longer available.

elementaljim said...

hello again,
I sent an email..hope you recvd it..
at http://www.care2.com there is a search box w/tabs. I entered "Climate Security Act" and clicked on tab-petitions. there were 2 listed.
first to "Union of concerned Scientists" was a closed petition but I sent and email anyway. second to "Environmental Defense" still open and sent email. the last on was in the email action alert and that went to "National Wildlife Federation" and sent another email.
I also emailed the "blank email link" for care2 australia.
hope this helps.. I will try to forward the action alert to your email..