Greenpeace Statement on E&C Draft Legislation

Media release - October 7, 2008
WASHINGTON—In response to the global warming discussion draft released today by the House Energy and Commerce Committee, Greenpeace USA Deputy Campaigns Director Carroll Muffett issued the following statement:

"While we acknowledge the work Chairman Dingell and Chairman Boucher have put into this draft legislation, we would be remiss not to point out that it still falls far short of what is needed to avoid catastrophic global warming."

"Faced with a four-fold increase in the rate of carbon dioxide pollution since 2000 and emerging evidence of methane emissions from the melting arctic that may accelerate global warming we simply don't have time anymore for the half-measures and loopholes that riddle this bill."

The draft legislation contains numerous shortcomings that would prevent the United States from doing its part to stop global warming:

First, the emission targets set by the plan fall short of what is needed to confront the problem. It calls for 6 percent emissions reductions below 2005 levels by 2020 and 80 percent below 2005 levels by 2050 when science says we must reduce domestic emissions at least 25 percent below 1990 levels by 2020 and at least 80 percent below 1990 levels by 2050.

Second, the legislation perpetuates the use of the dirtiest energy source by avoiding immediate restrictions on coal pollution and commits the country to unproven, unsafe, and wildly expensive carbon capture and sequestration technology.

"This country has more than 600 coal-fired power plants, with an additional 100 plants proposed for development. The Department of Energy projects that no more than 20 CCS-equipped plants could be online by 2020. That CCS is a dead end for real climate solutions is a matter of simple mathematics."

Third, the plan would likely allocate revenue to some of the country's biggest polluters instead of helping working families who need the money to offset increased costs associated with the proposed legislation in the early years of the rules.

Fourth, the legislation would be full of loopholes, allowing polluters to cheat by buying their way out of compliance with domestic and international offsets.

Finally, the plan wouldn't allow states and regions to take leadership on cap-and-trade programs with more stringent targets if they choose to take even stronger action than the federal government.

"Solving the global warming crisis demands that we come to terms with the full-scale of the problem and the full-scale of the solution required. Last Friday, 152 members of Congress showed that full-scale solutions are not only possible, but also politically feasible. The chairs could learn a lot from their colleagues."

 

 



Other contacts: Mike Crocker, Greenpeace USA, 202-215-8989; Carroll Muffett, Greenpeace USA Deputy Campaigns Director, 202-425-2934