Al Gore is putting his considerable reputation as a "climate crusader" behind the Lieberman-Warner Climate Security Act, which the Senate will debate today.
We have the first global warming bill in history that is comprehensive, bipartisan and that enjoys support across the country from labor and agriculture to the business and the environmental communities," Gore said in a statement released by the Environment and Public Works Committee, chaired by Sen. Barbara Boxer. "Of course the bill needs to be stronger, but it's vital that Congress begin to act. While its important that people change their light bulbs, it's even more important that we change the laws.
Most major national environmental groups are lining up behind the legislation, which would aim for a 70% cut in greenhouse gas emissions below 2005 levels by 2050. The cap-and-trade regulation would put a price on carbon dioxide, allot credits for existing polluters, and set up a system so that those facilities whose emissions fall beneath their quotas can sell the balance to those who do not.
The three major-party presidential candidates have each said they support that type of regulation as the basis for global warming legislation. None are expected to join their fellow senators for debate on the bill, however.
Environmental Defense, the Natural Resources Defense Council and the League of Conservation Voters have all stated support, in one way or another, for the legislation. But Friends of Earth has criticized it as too weak, primarily because it would stop well short of meeting U.N. goals for a 50% worldwide reduction in greenhouse gas emissions below 1990 levels by 2050 (which might require an 80-90% cut in U.S. emissions).
Hey, remember that slide show Al Gore showed in An Inconvenient Truth? Well, he's updating it. Here's a preview:
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