WASHINGTON, DC (December 5, 2007) – Statement by David Hawkins, director of the Climate Center at the Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC), on today’s significant Senate Environment and Public Works Committee vote (11-8) in favor of reporting the Climate Security Act of 2007 (S. 2191) to the Senate floor. The Legislation was introduced by Senators Lieberman (I-Conn.) and Warner (R-Va.).
“The Lieberman-Warner bill, America’s Climate Security Act, is the strongest global warming bill moving in the Congress and we thank Senator Barbara Boxer for her leadership in further strengthening and moving this bill through committee.
“This historic vote reflects the growing momentum and public demand to cut America’s global warming pollution. State and local action, court verdicts, business plans and consumer decisions are all pointing the United States in the direction to take serious action to curb global warming pollution. The news from Capitol Hill today will reverberate around the world to Bali, where delegates from 190 countries eagerly await signs that the United States will return to a position of leadership regarding climate change.
“The time to act is now. We already see the impact of a disrupted global climate through the increased number and severity of wildfires, floods and droughts. This bill has helped center our national discussion on how quickly we can and must reduce our emissions, which is exactly where it should be. We have the solutions – cleaner energy sources, new vehicle technologies and industrial processes and enhanced energy efficiency. We need legislation to ensure these best practices are implemented nationally.
“As this bill moves to the Senate floor, we at NRDC stand ready to assist in any way possible to strengthen the emissions reductions and tighten the timeline for those reductions. We will also work to prevent any amendments from passing that would weaken the emission limits, such as a ‘safety valve,’ or weaken other requirements of the legislation.”
The bill was strengthened further in the full committee mark up in significant ways. Particularly noteworthy was the addition of a low carbon fuel standard. The low carbon fuel standard requires the carbon intensity of our transportation fuel mix to decline over time. Combining a low-carbon fuel standard with a cap on global warming emissions from transportation fuels will help further ensure that investments in low-carbon fuel production, infrastructure, and vehicles are made in a timely manner beyond what the carbon cap can achieve alone.