Statement by Frances Beinecke, President, Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC):
“In his eighth year, the president has just proposed a path on global warming weaker than the campaign pledge he made in September of 2000 and broke three months into office. Not content with blocking action over the last eight years, this president is trying to lock in pollution growth for the next 15.
“His approach would extend his dangerous legacy on global warming far beyond his time in office. His statement seems a thinly disguised attempt to derail global warming solutions currently moving in Congress. The Lieberman-Warner bill is set to be voted on in June and it should be strengthened and passed, not attacked by this do-nothing president. While the Lieberman-Warner bill would reduce emissions 25-32 percent from 2005 levels by 2025, in line with what scientists say is needed, the president’s new goal would allow continued emissions growth of as much as 10 percent or more.
"The president has consistently opposed new legislation and done nothing with the powers he has under existing laws. Last May the president accepted the Supreme Court's decision that global warming pollution can be curbed under the Clean Air Act. He called it ‘the law of the land’ and ordered his EPA to implement it. But now he condemns the Court and refuses to act.
“This problem is too serious for lame-duck propaganda from Washington. The Supreme Court, leading Fortune 500 companies, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate change, states, cities, and the rest of the world have called for decisive action on global warming.
“To prevent catastrophic global warming, Congress needs to adopt a law that caps and cuts our global warming pollution. In addition to providing investors certainty about required emissions reductions, a comprehensive policy needs to clear roadblocks to profitable energy and emissions savings and support the development and deployment of emission-reducing innovations. The Lieberman-Warner bill would provide a strong start on all three of these key elements of a responsible policy. The president should be leading, not getting in the way.”