As Eric left for his expedition to save the poles late last week, the U.S.
Senate Environment and Public Works Committee passed a global warming bill.
While we love to see action on global warming, this bill needs some big
changes for our beloved plant to stand a chance of avoiding climate
There are three fundamental problems with the bill that we need to address
as the bill moves through the Senate.
First, the bill would set an emissions reduction target far below what
scientists agree is necessary to stop global warming and ocean
acidification. Emission scenarios developed by the Intergovernmental Panel
on Climate Change indicate that the United States must reduce emissions 45
percent or more below 1990 levels by 2020 in order to stabilize the
atmosphere at a safe level of 350 parts per million or below. The Senate
bill is projected to reduce emissions just 4% below 1990 levels by 2020 -
far too little, too late.
Second, the bill would rollback one of our nation's most successful
environmental laws: the Clean Air Act. The Clean Air Act is our only
existing environmental law that could allow us to reach a goal of 350 ppm,
but the bill as it currently stands would remove the Act's authority to do
so. The bill would bar the Environmental Protection Agency from setting an
overall cap - such as 350 ppm -- on the permissible amount of carbon
pollution. Just when we need every tool in the toolbox to fight global
warming, the Senate bill would take away one of our most important tools.
Third, the bill's offset provisions are so vast and poor that they undermine
its modest emission-reduction goals. Economists have determined that many
industries will invest in dubious offsets instead of reducing their carbon
The political climate in Washington, D.C., is failing the very real,
physical climate of places like the poles, which have already changed for
the worse. Our elected leaders need to fix the problem, not apply false
band-aids. Join the Center for Biological Diversity and sign our petition
to President Obama and the Senate for strong global warming legislation that
1) sets an overall cap on atmospheric carbon dioxide levels of no more than
350 parts per million; 2) maintains the Clean Air Act's ability to curb
carbon pollution, and 3) eliminates or greatly reduces offsets and other
Center for Biological Diversity