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Hill Heat: Democratic Senators Outline Goals for Climate Change Legislation



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Democratic Senators Outline Goals for Climate Change Legislation

Thu, 11 Oct 2007 09:56:00 -0400

Democratic Senators Bob Menendez (NJ), Jack Reed (RI), John Kerry (MA), Russ Feingold (WI), Chris Dodd (CT) and Dick Durbin (IL) wrote last week to Sens. Joe Lieberman (I-CT) and John Warner (R-VA), the Chairman and Ranking Member of the Environment and Public Works Subcommittee, to weigh in on the draft plan of the legislation the two are developing.

They mirror the previous praise by Democrats on the subcommittee in their letter:
We write today to congratulate you on your leadership in addressing global warming. The outline of proposed legislation that you distributed last month is an important start and your efforts to forge a bipartisan bill and attempt to pass a meaningful climate change bill this Congress deserve praise and recognition.
They go on to express some concerns, though without the vehemence of the Kit Bond’s conservative criticism:
  • Calling for a 80% reduction by 2050 with specific and aggressive interim targets, as opposed to the 70% target in the draft
  • Reiterating opposition to “safety valve” legislation like that in Bingaman-Specter
  • Criticizing the degree to which free allocations of emissions credits are given to the fossil fuel sector
  • Calling for more emphasis on energy efficiency and renewable energy: “take some of the considerable resources generated by the auction process and devote them to further research and incentives for renewable energy . . . make the bill more balanced by devoting a larger share of the allowance value to public purposes, including support for energy efficiency and renewables”