Moves to Strengthen Climate Bill Underway in Senate
photo: Phil Romans via flickr
Yesterday, when I claimed the US wasn't really as much of a leader as it claims to be I got called out for always being down on the American Clean Energy & Security Act for not being a big enough step towards the emissions reductions that we need to avoid the worst of climate change. Well, it may be a while before the Senate produces their version, but at least, as Climate Progress points out, a number of Senators are trying to go beyond what the House did. Here's some of that:20% Emission Reductions by 2020, Still From 2005 LevelsThe emissions reductions proposals in ACES are frankly unambitious compared to what climate scientists say is required by 2020, proposals coming out of the EU, and what developing nations are calling for to protect their future. At least five Senators -- Ben Cardin (D-MD), Frank Lautenberg (D-NJ), Bernie Sanders (I-VT), and Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI) -- are proposing 20% reductions (from 2005 levels) by 2020.
That's a 3% increase from ACES. And let's remember that when most nation talk about a target of 20% by 2020, they're referring to 1990 levels -- making their targets even stronger.
25% Federal Renewable Energy StandardIn terms of really establishing a better federal renewable energy standard, Senators Tom Udall (D-NM) and Mark Udall (D-CO) have said, commenting on legislation they introduced a number of months ago that would mandate 25% renewable electricity by 2025 -- a bump up from ACES and closer to something to be proud of than the improved emission reductions, above.
The original Climate Progress piece lists more proposals to improve funding for greener transportation, rein in mercury, nitrogen and sulphur pollution from coal plants, prevent speculation in proposed carbon markets, and further boost green manufacturing jobs: Fighting back, several Senators are working to strengthen the climate and clean energy billGlobal Climate ChangeChina's Stunning New Renewable Energy Standard: 20 Percent by 2020 On the Climate Bill Green Groups Mustn't Surrender When the Battle is Just StartingPoorer Nations Tell the Rich: You Must Cut Emissions 40% Below 1990 Levels by 2020