Statement on Coal-to-Liquid Subsidies and Senate Energy Bill

Statement on Coal-to-Liquid Subsidies and Senate Energy Bill


Nick Berning, 202-222-0748

Statement on Coal-to-Liquid Subsidies and the Senate Energy Bill

Good afternoon, my name is Erich Pica, and I am the domestic policy director at Friends of the Earth-U.S. Friends of the Earth is a national advocacy organization in the United States founded in 1969 and the U.S. arm of Friends of the Earth International, the world’s largest environmental federation, with groups in more than 70 countries worldwide.

In November, the American people voted for a change in direction and new leadership in Congress. The politics of the old Congress were no longer tenable with the global warming crisis looming. This is a crisis that many states and cities recognize–and they’re doing something about it:

*More than 500 cities have pledged to meet Kyoto global warming reductions targets
*23 states plus the District of Columbia have passed renewable energy standards;
*13 states plus the District of Columbia have passed clean car legislation and;
*States in the Northeast, West Coast and Rocky Mountain West are all moving to regulate global warming emissions.

And now we have a majority leader in the Senate, Harry Reid, who has stated the importance of global warming is second only to the war in Iraq.

The Senate’s actions are speaking louder than Senator Reid’s words. As the Senate debates new energy policy, Democrats and Republicans from coal-producing states are threatening to fundamentally undermine our ability to reduce global warming emissions by seeking mandates and incentives for liquid coal. Some Democrats are seeking a compromise on liquid coal. Let me be clear, there is no justifiable compromise on incentives or mandates for liquid coal. There’s no serious way to believe that liquid coal can ever manage to reduce global warming pollution. Liquid coal is a killer when it comes to global warming.

The proposed $10 billion compromise or the successful inclusion of a mandate for liquid coal would make this energy bill as generous to the coal industry or more generous to the coal industry than the Republican energy bill passed in 2005. This is not the type of leadership Americans voted for in November. If Democrats support liquid coal, they will be breaking the promise they made to voters to get tough on global warming.

The Senate has an opportunity to lead the nation on addressing global warming and our energy future — let’s not waste it on liquid coal.