The Climate Security Act

The Climate Security Act, otherwise known as the Lieberman-Warner Bill — now S. 2191 — is coming up to crunch time in the Senate. Today the NRDC (National Resource Defense Council) put full page ads in the New York Times and other places urging letters demanding support to your Senators, asking for help to place the ads elsewhere.

NRDC Ad

Unfortunately NRDC does not link to the actual bill, nor to the prolonged discussion from all sides.

In its essence S. 2191 is a Cap and Trade bill, setting decreasing ceilings to CO2 production and providing a means to buy and sell credits to encourage financially motivated CO2 diminishment — as worked so well with Acid Rain reduction several decades ago. The bill has not been without its critics, however. Principally, some argue that Cap and Trade is not motivational enough — that only taxation of CO2 production or other punitive measures will do the job. Others support the bill in general but want it strengthened.

The Sierra Club, in an undated post, support it.

League of Conservation Voters
want it strengthened.

Local Warming Blogspot has a fairly succinct summary of the provisions and concludes that support or non-support is a tough call.

Two decent summaries over the state of the contending forces and their arguments are in Proctoring Congress
and, more focused on the split among Enviros, an October 2007 Grist article by Brian Beutler.

While senators are shaping and debating the merits of various global-warming bills, the really impassioned wrangling over climate legislation is going on not in the halls of Congress but within the environmental community itself. [Bill] McKibben (who serves on Grist’s board of directors) and activist-oriented groups like Friends of the Earth are calling for no “half-measures” or compromises, while more establishmentarian groups like Environmental Defense are embracing moderate legislation on the grounds that it might actually pass. Other green groups are staking out their ground in between, praising bipartisan progress while stressing that moderate legislation needs to be strengthened.

National Wildlife Federation, in a post on The Congress Blog, points to a quietly released EPA economic analysis that says the economic doom sayers are wrong.

According to EPA’s analysis, the U.S. economy would grow by 80 percent through the year 2030 after enactment of the Climate Security Act. That is less than one-half of one percent difference from projected growth without a bill.

GreenDaily thinks Lieberman-Warner will get tied up by a cloture vote and points to a “middle of the road” compromise being drafted by George Voinovich.

All three remaining Presidential Candidates support the bill. McCain is criticizing the Dems for being johnny (or janey) come latelys to support. If there are minor differences between them I am not aware of what they are. It is a fudgin’ pity that this was not the subject of breathless analysis and provocative questioning by our entertainment media clowns instead of flag pins. Come to think of it, why aren’t they all wearing NO 2 CO2 pins!!??

So this is a short summary to help get you up to speed. Any thoughts? Positions on the matter? I myself think any action is better than no action, that bludgeoning the good to death with the perfect is never a smart move, but that nothing in this bill should lock it down and prevent further action. A new president with his/her attendant cabinet, agency heads and reading of popular sentiment and science will surely allow more and more urgent action.