The Climate Security Act: Getting Closer to the Finish Line

Right now, the Lieberman-Warner Climate Security Act is fighting for survival. The same industries who brought us high gas prices are also trying to kill the bill. Why? Because the Climate Security Act will wean us off gas and bring down gas prices.

Some members of the energy industry--and their friends in Congress--cloak their worry about their own bottom line in a disingenuous concern for the American public.

They say that if America starts confronting global warming, gas prices will rise. In fact, the Climate Security Act will reduce the cost of driving for American households because commuters will have better, more efficient transportation choices, including high mileage gasoline vehicles, plug-in hybrid vehicles, sustainable biofuels, and better transit systems.

Pollution permits will have a cost, but this money will be reinvested in building the clean energy system we need to prevent dangerous global warming, rather than going to ExxonMobil and OPEC.

During the last seven years of inaction on global warming we have seen oil prices rise to over $120 per barrel. The only sustainable solution is to stimulate innovations that can end our dependence on oil once and for all. The Climate Security Act will do that.

Many energy companies want to block this progress. They claim they are worried about the state of the American economy. Yet a recent report confirmed that when it comes to our future economic health, the real danger is failing to act in the face of global warming. Doing nothing while our planet heats up will be disastrous for our economy.

No matter how short-sighted or self-interested these industries may be, they are powerful and they may succeed in undermining the Climate Security Act. This time anyway. And if they do, we will go into every state and be sure that every Senator who votes against solving global warming is held accountable to his or her constituents for not providing leadership in solving the critical issue of our time.

As my colleague David Doniger told the New York Times earlier this week in reference to the global warming bill, “we may not get it done this year, but if not, we start next year just a few steps from the finish line.”