Sen. Ben Nelson Describes Disastrous Global Warming Bill As ‘Realistic’

Sen. Ben Nelson
Sen. Ben Nelson (D-NE)

In the past two weeks, Sen. George Voinovich (R-OH) has been circulating draft climate legislation in line with President Bush’s Rose Garden global warming speech, which called for industry tax credits and for U.S. global warming emissions to continue growing until 2025. To do so would be sheer lunacy. But Voinovich embraced the plan and translated Bush’s goals into the Incentives-Based Alternative Climate Policy Act. Voinovich’s bill was crafted by a who’s who of industry front groups, including the Alliance for Energy and Economic Growth, the National Manufacturers Association, the Edison Electric Institute, the American Chemistry Council, and the Electric Reliability Coordinating Council.

The Environmental Defense Fund’s Steve Cochran summarized the Voinovich proposal as “bankrupt,” saying:

It’s a detailed prescription for doing nothing. If you think climate change is a hoax, this is your bill.

Friends of the Earth president Brent Blackwelder agreed, saying the Voinovich bill is “repugnant and immoral.” He warned:

Any senator who votes for such sham legislation will answer for it at the ballot box.

But as Darren Samuelsohn reports in E&E News, Sen. Ben Nelson (D-NE) is placing himself in the Voinovich camp. Samuelson writes:

In contrast, Sen. Ben Nelson (D-Neb.) maintained that he is a long way from backing the Lieberman-Warner bill. Instead, he is taking a close look at an alternative climate bill circulated from Sen. George Voinovich (R-Ohio) that opens with tax incentives for new energy technologies but falls back on cap and trade if the other ideas have not worked by 2030.

It’s a more realistic approach to what technology is going to be required,” Nelson said. “Just legislating it, doesn’t get you there.”

Joe Romm at Climate Progress responds to Sen. Nelson: Noooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo!

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