"This legislation offers a detailed, credible plan to reduce emissions," writes Sierra Club president Carl Pope.
The 1.8-million-member Sierra Club is the latest major environmental organization to call for Senators to vote to report the bill to the full Senate. Other supporters of favorable action on the bill include the Apollo Alliance, Defenders of Wildlife, Environmental Defense, League of Conservation Voters, National Environmental Trust, National Wildlife Federation, Natural Resources Defense Council, The Nature Conservancy, Union of Concerned Scientists and The Wilderness Society.
The text of the Sierra Club's letter is attached below. The original letter, along with letters from other major environmental organizations, can be downloaded on the Environment and Public Works Committee website: http://epw.senate.gov
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December 3, 2007
On behalf of our 1.8 million members and supporters, Sierra Club urges members of the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee to vote in favor of reporting S. 2191, "America's Climate Security Act of 2007," when it is considered at mark-up this Wednesday, December 5.
There is a compelling need for the federal government to act quickly and decisively to address global warming. The solutions that are crafted to address this challenge are critically important. They must be sufficiently bold to ensure success. They must result in the best choices for the American public. And they must provide mechanisms that will allow this nation and the world to both curb global warming and to prepare for and respond to the negative consequences from this critical environmental problem.
We are appreciative that Chairman Boxer, Sen. Lieberman, and Sen. Warner have responded to this compelling need by introducing S. 2191. This legislation offers a detailed, credible plan to reduce emissions and marks an important beginning to meeting the above mentioned challenges. We are encouraged that the bill has been strengthened in several ways since its introduction. But while we support moving the bill out of Committee at this time, we believe that S. 2191 still requires significant strengthening to make it appropriate for enactment.
The Sierra Club strongly supports additional improvements in full Committee and beyond. As the Congress continues its consideration of this bill, we urge that it be strengthened in the following ways:
• Expand the coverage and performance of the cap to assure that total U.S. emissions are reduced by at least 20 percent by 2020, and 80 percent by 2050 as recommended by many climate scientists.
• Provide distinct guidelines to the Carbon Credit Corporation that require auction revenues to go to the technologies and projects that are the least costly, least environmentally damaging, most quickly deployed, least risky for worker and public safety, most beneficial to the U.S. economy, and most contributory to reliability of energy supplies.
• Provide a mechanism for the scientific review that forces action by the federal government to address the results of periodic National Academy of Sciences reports.
• Significantly reduce the amount of initial free allowances, and end them much sooner.
We urge members to support strengthening amendments that would accomplish these goals. Reporting S.2191 from the full Committee continues the important process of addressing and debating this critical issue. Please contact Dave Hamilton on my staff at 202-548-6595 with any comments or questions. Thank you for your consideration.