Stronger Climate Bill Necessary: Waxman-Markey Bill Needs Work

With overwhelming support from the general American people and a President who says that we really need to do something about climate change, the House of Representatives passed a landmark bill on climate change on June 20th. A victory! Or maybe not. The bill is a major step forward in gesture in many ways.

However, the House dropped or changed many instrumental parts of what is needed to reduce or limit global warming.

The bill is in the Senate now, and climate activists say that your voice is needed to make a true difference when it comes to climate change!

This bill has dramatically changed what Obama laid out as a truly green and revolutionary climate bill. Here are the key changes that activists say your Senators need to address:

1) EPA Should Regulate Coal Plants
This bill does not give the EPA power to regulate coal plants. Give the power back to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency to regulate these plants.

2) Limit Hazy Carbon “Offsets”
Allowing polluting companies to pay for “equal” carbon offsets in other places is dangerous (as it is unlikely to be equal or to change much) and very difficult to manage and oversee. The current bill gives this oversight process to the Department of Agriculture instead of the EPA. The carbon offsets need to be much lower than the approximately 12 billion tons a year they are at currently, and the power to regulate this needs to be in the hands of the EPA.

3) Increase Clean Energy Targets
The production targets for clean energy are much weaker than needed. Strengthen the clean energy production targets.

4) Bring Greenhouse Gas Reductions to an Appropriate Level
Greenhouse gas reductions are targeted much lower than scientists say is actually needed. Bring the target up to what scientists say is needed.

5) Improve Consumer Protection and Rebates to THE PUBLIC
As Mike Tidwell, the Executive Director of the Chesapeake Climate Action Network (CCAN), states: “President Obama in February proposed rebating 85 percent of the pollution permit funds directly to taxpayers. The Waxman-Markey bill directly rebates only 15 percent of the money. Another 30 percent is given to electric utilities who promise to use the money to ‘protect’ consumers.” Put the bill back to how it was proposed and give the rebates back to the public!

There are many changes to be made. CALL YOUR SENATORS TODAY to participate in the changing of global climate history!

Link to contact information for all US Senators is here.

For more on this topic, read Mike Tidwell/CCAN’s press release here.

For great details on the issue, read this post.

Image Credit: Zach Shahan

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