NRDC Statement in Response to Washington Post Story on Climate Legislation by Sens. Kerry, Graham and Lieberman

WASHINGTON (February 27, 2010) – The Washington Post reported today on the climate legislation by Senators Kerry, Graham and Lieberman. Following is a statement of David Hawkins, Director of Climate Programs at the Natural Resources Defense Council:


“The goals of the legislation that Senators Kerry, Graham, and Lieberman are working on are to help set our country on the path to a clean energy future that would create jobs, make our country more secure and reduce carbon pollution.


“To do this, sound legislation must include:


-- a steady, mandatory reduction in emissions from our largest sources of global warming pollution. This approach provides utilities and corporations with the predictability they need to make long-range investments. It also gives them the time to develop the most cost-effective strategies for cutting carbon pollution.


--Second, promote the clean energy technologies we need to put Americans back to work, make our economy more efficient, improve U.S. competitiveness in the global marketplace and reduce our reliance on foreign oil.


“We support, also, the kind of market-based solutions President Obama and business leaders have repeatedly endorsed.


“We need to avoid this bill becoming a Christmas tree, however. There are higher priorities for taxpayer financial incentives than to provide additional taxpayer subsidies for future nuclear plants. This is a mature technology that should not be placed in line ahead of new and cleaner technologies.


“We also have grave concerns about expanding offshore drilling for oil and gas to new, sensitive areas. We should look first to retrieving the much larger amounts of available oil that is currently stranded in existing, already developed fields. We know that oil is there and producing it with injected carbon dioxide can reduce pollution at the same time.


“We are encouraged by the important work being done by Senators Graham, Kerry and Lieberman and we look forward to working closely with them - as well as other members of Congress from both sides of the aisle - to help pass a strong climate, jobs and clean energy bill through the Senate.”