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A real global warming bill – and two fakes

April 25, 2006

Senators McCain (R-AZ) and Lieberman (D-CT) aren’t my favorite lawmakers. But I have to give them big chops for foresight and persistence on this one.

After proposing a global warming bill which failed less spectacularly than you’d think (it got 47 votes in 2003), they’re back with the Climate Stewardship and Innovation Act of 2005 (S. 1151). (The link isn’t to the act itself, but to a meaty summary of its contents by Pew Research.) It would mandate a cap-and-trade system on carbon dioxide emissions which would require a return to 2000 levels within 10 years. Revenues from the system would be plowed into new technology.

Since the public is really beginning to wake up, the energy industry recognizes that there is some risk of real action. Therefore, two alternate bills have been introduced by friends of the fiends who are administering a hotfoot to our children. The first, from Dianne Feinstein, slims down McCain-Lieberman to an ineffectual shadow of its former self. The second, from Bingaman and Domenici, would call itself an anti-global-warming bill, but would actually be designed to accelerate the production of CO2.

An excellent Salon article compares the three bills.

McCain-Lieberman may suffer from weak green support, because it includes some pilot nuclear plants among its new technology provisions. But it is the real deal, worth fighting for. The Bingaman obscenity has, of course, the inside track and the full support of the Republican leadership, both in committee and in the full chamber.

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