Senate Should Reject Weak Bingaman-Specter Cap and Trade Bill

Senate Should Reject Weak Bingaman-Specter Cap and Trade Bill

For Immediate Release

For more information contact:
Nick Berning, 202-222-0748

Senate Should Reject Weak Bingaman-Specter Cap and Trade Bill
WASHINGTON–Friends of the Earth President Brent Blackwelder responded to the introduction of cap and trade legislation by Senators Jeff Bingaman (D-NM) and Arlen Specter (R-PA) with the following statement:


“At a time when global warming is accelerating toward a point of no return, we need bold leadership from Congress. Unfortunately, the legislation offered by Senators Bingaman and Specter is a weak half measure. A good sign of the legislation’s limits is the fact that it’s backed by some of our country’s biggest coal companies and polluters.

“This legislation is flawed in many ways. For years to come, the bill would actually allow global warming emissions to increase–caps restricting emissions to 2006 levels would not appear until 2020. The bill undermines these already weak caps by limiting the maximum price that polluters would pay for emissions permits. Additionally, the bill’s ‘aspirational’ goal of a 60 percent cut in greenhouse gas emissions by 2050 is far less than the cut of at least 80 percent that is needed. Most important, this long-term goal is entirely voluntary, which practically guarantees it will not be met.

“Anyone familiar with the science surrounding this issue knows that the catastrophic consequences of unmitigated global warming demand substantial changes now. We welcome senators’ interest in addressing this problem–especially the new engagement of several Republican senators on this issue–but the Senate should not pass legislation that fails to move us anywhere close to where we need to be. Senators should reject this measure and tackle global warming in a more serious way.”