Senators John Kerry (D-MA) and Olympia Snowe (R-ME) introduced climate legislation that would set the nation on a path to avoid a catastrophic warming. Some highlights of the Global Warming Reduction Act:
Requires that the U.S. freeze emissions in 2010 and then calls for a gradual reduction each year to 65% below 2000 emissions levels by 2050. The bill achieves these targets through a flexible, economy-wide cap-and-trade program for greenhouse gas emissions.
Requires that passenger vehicles reduce their global warming pollution.
Includes measures to advance technology and reduce emissions through clean, renewable energy and energy efficiency in the transportation, industrial and residential sectors.
Requires the U.S. to derive 20% of its electricity from renewable sources by 2020.
This is a serious bipartisan climate proposal from the Senate, similar to another one that Jim Jeffords (I-VT) introduce this summer. These will certainly never become law as long as George W. Bush is president, and they may not even get voted on unless congressional leadership changes after the mid-terms, but they do show that some senior lawmakers understand the scale of the problem and solution.