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New Global Warming Legislation Outlined by Feinstein March 20, 2006 11:29 AM

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By: Feinstein office
Published: Mar 20, 2006 at 08:15

> if ("" > "") { document.write (" "); document.write (""" + "" + """); document.write (""); } </SCRIPT> U.S. Senator Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.) today outlined legislation to reduce America's emissions of greenhouse gases in order to minimize the impact of climate change on the Earth, while safeguarding our economy.

The legislation is currently being circulated as a discussion draft in anticipation of the April 4 Senate Energy Committee Climate Conference convened by Senators Pete Domenici (R-N.M.) and Jeff Bingaman (D-N.M.). It would establish a mandatory, cap-and-trade system that stops and then reverses the amount of greenhouse gases that are emitted over time. When the bill is fully implemented, America's greenhouse gas emissions would be reduced by 7.25 percent of today's emissions levels (reduced by 516 million metric tons of carbon dioxide).

"The clock is ticking on global warming," Senator Feinstein said. "If we do not slow, stop, and reverse global warming soon, we will do irreparable harm to the world around us. When fully implemented, this legislation would reduce emissions of greenhouse gases by 516 million metric tons of carbon dioxide a year. This is the equivalent of taking 111 million passenger cars off the road for one year. So this would be a major step in the right direction.

The evidence continues to mount that harmful global warming is occurring. Polar ice caps and mountain glaciers are melting, seas are warming and rising. Weather patterns are changing, with devastating consequences.

That's why we must act now, but in a responsible way. This legislation sets up a framework to begin reducing greenhouse gas emissions and stabilizing our climate, while safeguarding our economy, ensuring continued U.S. competitiveness, and allowing the agriculture and forestry sectors to earn revenue for helping the environment.

There are many who want us to sit on our hands and do nothing. But this is the one thing that we absolutely cannot afford to do. So I have developed legislation -- building on the fine work of others, including Senators McCain, Lieberman, Bingaman, and Domenici, and efforts underway in California that I think makes an important contribution to the debate."

Following is are a partial list of the top indicators of global warming and a highlights of the discussion draft:

Strong Economy and Climate Protection Act

What Others are Saying

"We applaud Sen. Feinstein's leadership to advance global warming solutions and we're pleased to see a provision to protect wildlife from the effects of global warming included in her bill. We look forward to working with her to further develop the draft bill and advance effective global warming legislation."

Larry Schweiger, President and CEO of the National Wildlife Federation.

"We appreciate Senator Feinstein's leadership on climate change and look forward to working with her to encourage U.S. industries, particularly the power sector, to pursue new, high-efficiency, low-emitting technologies, products, and practices."

Steven Kline, VP- Corporate Environmental and Federal Affairs of PG&E Corporation


"The Pew Center on Global Climate Change applauds the leadership of Sen. Dianne Feinstein and others who are working toward the development of a national greenhouse gas cap-and trade program. Sen. Feinstein's draft Strong Economy and Climate Protection Act of 2006 includes many of the elements the Center would recommend in such a program, including:

a modest initial GHG emissions cap that is gradually strengthened over time;

a mechanism that would insure against temporarily high costs, but at the same time allow no increase in GHG emissions over the long term;

financial support for innovative low-carbon technologies;

a focus primarily on large stationary sources of GHGs (known as a "downstream" focus, as opposed to an "upstream" focus, which would primarily address the producers of fossil fuels); and

the ability of facilities to fully offset their emissions with real verifiable GHG reduction and sequestration performed by entities not otherwise covered by the program.

The Center looks forward to working with the Senator and Congress to refine the bill, especially by:

expanding access to international GHG markets and refining the set of farming and forestry practices that could be used as offsets;

incorporating a mechanism, such as tradable corporate average emission standards, to address GHG emissions from transportation sources, in place of the requirement that oil producers submit allowances;

assisting covered facilities in their transition to the program by providing a high percentage of allowances at no cost, at least in the initial years of the program; and

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