In response to passage of the "American Clean Energy and Security Act" by the House Energy and Commerce Committee, a coalition of environmental, legal, consumer, and community advocacy groups released the following joint statement:
"While a week of debate failed to adequately strengthen protections for consumers, communities, and the climate in this bill, it erased all doubt of who will benefit most from it: Big Business. Despite the best efforts of Chairman Waxman, the decision-making process was co-opted by oil and coal lobbyists determined to sustain our addiction to dirty fossil fuels, even as the country stands ready to rebuild our economy and clean up the environment with real clean energy. The resulting bill reflects the triumph of politics over science, and the triumph of industry influence over the public interest.
"Regrettably, we cannot support this legislation unless and until it is substantially strengthened. The lives and livelihoods of 7 billion people worldwide will be affected by America's response to the climate crisis. The response embodied in today's bill is not only inadequate it is counterproductive.
"As passed through the Energy & Commerce Committee, the American Clean Energy and Security Act sets targets for reducing pollution that are far weaker than science says is necessary to avoid catastrophic climate change. The targets are far less ambitious than what is achievable with already existing technology. They are further undermined by massive loopholes that could allow the most polluting industries to avoid real emission reductions until 2027. Rather than provide relief and support to consumers, the bill showers polluting industries with hundreds of billions of dollars in free allowances and direct subsidies that will slow renewable energy development and lock in a new generation of dirty coal-fired power plants. At the same time, the bill would remove the President's authority to address global warming pollution using laws already on the books.
"The international community cannot solve global warming without real leadership from the United States. We urge the President to demonstrate that leadership by working with Congressional leaders to craft a real, science-based response to the challenge of global warming and by immediately exercising his substantial authority to regulate global warming emissions under existing laws."
VVPR info: CONTACTS: Carroll Muffett, deputy campaigns director, Greenpeace USA, 202-425-2934; Nick Berning director of public advocacy, Friends of the Earth, 202-222-0748; Bill Snape, senior counsel, Center for Biological Diversity, 202-536-9351; David Hughes, executive director Citizen Power, (412) 421-6072 x 213; Grant Smith executive director, Citizens Action Coalition of Indiana, 317-205-3535; Mindy Spatt, TURN—The Utility Reform Network, 415-359-3856; Daphne Wysham, co-director, Sustainable Energy & Economy Network, 202.787-5208; Alan Muller, executive director, Green Delaware, 302-834-3466; Alexandra Dawson, president and senior scientist Massachusetts Environmental Energy Alliance, 917-885-2573