Other reactions to the Dingell-Boucher

My quick analysis on the Dingell-Boucher draft climate bill is “likely no CO2 cut until near 2030.” Here are various initial comments from

  • NRDC
  • Lots of Environmental Groups
  • Rep. Edward J. Markey (D-Mass.), Chairman of the Select Committee on Energy Independence and Global Warming and a senior member of the House Energy and Commerce Committee
  • Wilderness Society
  • Greenpeace


Statement by David Hawkins, Director of Climate Programs at the Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC) on the discussion draft for comprehensive global warming legislation offered by the Chairman of the House of Representatives Energy and Commerce, Rep. John Dingell, and Chairman Rick Boucher:

“We appreciate the thoughtful work that Chairmen Dingell and Boucher have put into their discussion draft for comprehensive global warming legislation. The draft outlines a range of options and we encourage the Energy and Commerce Committee to act to advance legislation as soon as possible. As the release of this discussion draft makes evident, momentum continues to build in Congress for enactment of federal legislation to cap and reduce U.S. emissions of global warming pollution.

“There are many positive features to the discussion draft, such as the inclusion of a strong reduction target for 2050 and thoughtful approaches to the details of the structure of a comprehensive program.
However, there are also many important respects in which the draft legislation must be improved. Most notably, the near- and mid-term emission reduction targets must be substantially strengthened in order to avoid the worst effects of global warming. We are also very concerned about provisions that would eliminate existing authority to regulate global warming pollution under the Clean Air Act and alter the rights and ability of states to combat global warming on their own. We believe the final legislation must preserve existing Clean Air Act authority and the ability of states to operate as innovation laboratories.

“The bill needs to assure that the valuable pollution allowances created under the cap are used to achieve the maximum public benefit. What is needed are investments in clean technologies and in retooling American industries, and dividends that protect consumers, and help people and ecosystems adapt to global warming impacts that we cannot avoid.

“We look forward to working with Chairmen Dingell and Boucher, and with all the members of the Energy and Commerce Committee, to ensure enactment of sound, science-based legislation to halt global warming.
Release of the discussion draft represents a useful step forward in that respect and will help the next Congress to move quickly ahead to enact this long-overdue program to protect our climate and promote genuine economic recovery and energy security.”


Environmental Groups Applaud Chairmen Dingell and Boucher for Leadership on Global Warming

Earthjustice, Environment America, Environmental Defense Fund, League of Conservation Voters, National Audubon Society, National Tribal Environmental Council, Oxfam America, Sierra Club, The Wilderness Society, and Union of Concerned Scientists issued the following statement today:

“We commend Chairmen Dingell and Boucher for developing draft legislation to curb global warming. This draft bill puts global warming front and center on the Energy & Commerce Committee’s agenda for next year. It comes on the heels of the letter to Speaker Pelosi from more than 150 members of Congress last week laying out strong principles for action on global warming.

“Global warming poses substantial risks to our environment, economy, and way of life. But the changes we need to make to minimize these risks — including breaking our reliance on fossil fuels and ultimately moving to 100% clean, renewable energy — will also help revitalize our economy and create good, new domestic jobs.

“The science is clear that the United States must achieve real and sustained cuts in emissions soon if we hope to stave off the worst effects of global warming. At a minimum, we must reduce total U.S. emissions by 20 percent by 2020. The pace at which we reduce our emissions in the next 10 years is the single most important component of any global warming bill.

“While we look forward to fully reviewing the Dingell-Boucher draft bill, we are disappointed that it does not aim to reduce emissions from current levels for nearly 10 years – until after 2017. We are encouraged, however, that the bill appears not to include a so-called “safety valve,” which could bust the emissions limits. We look forward to working with the Chairmen and other members of the Energy & Commerce Committee to strengthen the draft bill so that it meets the challenge before us.”

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Markey Welcomes Release of Dingell-Boucher Bill

WASHINGTON (October 7, 2008) — Rep. Edward J. Markey (D-Mass.), Chairman of the Select Committee on Energy Independence and Global Warming and a senior member of the House Energy and Commerce Committee, praised the release of a discussion draft of climate legislation by Chairman John Dingell (D-Mich.) and Chairman Rick Boucher (D-Va.) as an important step towards the enactment of legislation to combat global warming in the next Congress.

Chairman Markey is the author of iCAP (H.R. 6186, the “Investing in Climate Action and Protection Act”), which would cut global warming emissions 85 percent by the middle of the century, set a price on heat-trapping emissions by auctioning 100 percent of pollution allowances, and re-invest the revenues from polluters back to consumers, clean energy technology development, and other key measures.

Below is the statement of Chairman Markey:

“The American people should be encouraged by the draft legislation released today by Chairman Dingell and Chairman Boucher. This draft recognizes that, to combat global warming and unleash a clean energy revolution, America needs to set long-term targets, protect consumers, and invest in energy efficiency and clean technologies.”

“The draft legislation lays out a range of options for structuring a cap and trade system that are likely to trigger a vigorous and healthy debate about how best to reduce global warming pollution. In the next year, I look forward to working with Chairmen Dingell and Boucher, our Energy and Commerce colleagues, and a new, climate-friendly administration as we put the American economy on a green road to recovery and finally solve the greatest challenge the planet has ever faced.”


Wilderness Society Praises Dingell, Boucher for Introducing Cap-and-Trade Legislation
Global Warming Must Be Tackled Now Despite Financial Market Turmoil

(Washington, D.C.)–Statement by Wilderness Society Director of Climate Policy David H. Moulton on introduction of the House Committee on Energy and Commerce’s draft cap-and-trade legislation to reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions:

“We are at risk of compounding the financial crisis with environmental chaos if we do not tackle the causes of global warming now. The Wilderness Society applauds Chairmen John D. Dingell (D-MI) and Rick Boucher (D-VA) for proposing cap-and-trade legislation at this time regardless of the upheaval in the financial markets. We simply must act now to re-direct our economy away from expensive, unsustainable and polluting sources of energy that threaten the health of the planet. Instead, we must work to implement an energy economy based on clean, renewable sources and this bill marks a first step in encouraging such a change.

“In particular, the Dingell-Boucher draft supports a cap-and-trade system that would result in an 80 percent reduction in greenhouse gas emissions by 2050. Unfortunately, it includes only a six percent reduction from 2005 levels by the year 2020. That goal is far short of the 20-25 percent reduction most scientists suggest we need in order to head off dangerous global warming later in the century.

“The bill also provides that dedicated funding for natural resources adaptation is an “option” for the use of carbon allowance auction revenues. TWS believes that failure to fund natural resources adaptation is not an option–that it is absolutely necessary to bridge the global warming gap–the period of inevitable warming we cannot avoid for the next several decades even if we eventually manage to constrain global by 2050 and beyond. By proposing weaker 2020 targets, the bill makes it even more difficult to bridge the gap, exposing our communities, ecosystems, public lands, national parks and wildlife refuges to unacceptable adverse impacts for even longer periods of time. We look forward to working with Chairmen Dingell and Boucher to ensure the 2020 targets are strengthened to lessen the impacts global warming will cause on our natural resources this century.”



WASHINGTON–In response to the global warming discussion draft released today by the House Energy and Commerce Committee, Greenpeace USA Deputy Campaigns Director Carroll Muffett issued the following statement:

“While we acknowledge the work Chairman Dingell and Chairman Boucher have put into this draft legislation, we would be remiss not to point out that it still falls far short of what is needed to avoid catastrophic global warming.”

“Faced with a four-fold increase in the rate of carbon dioxide pollution since 2000 and emerging evidence of methane emissions from the melting arctic that may accelerate global warming we simply don’t have time anymore for the half-measures and loopholes that riddle this bill.”

The draft legislation contains numerous shortcomings that would prevent the United States from doing its part to stop global warming:

First, the emission targets set by the plan fall short of what is needed to confront the problem. It calls for 6 percent emissions reductions below 2005 levels by 2020 and 80 percent below 2005 levels by 2050 when science says we must reduce domestic emissions at least 25 percent below 1990 levels by 2020 and at least 80 percent below 1990 levels by 2050.

Second, the legislation perpetuates the use of the dirtiest energy source by avoiding immediate restrictions on coal pollution and commits the country to unproven, unsafe, and wildly expensive carbon capture and sequestration technology.

“This country has more than 600 coal-fired power plants, with an additional 100 plants proposed for development. The Department of Energy projects that no more than 20 CCS-equipped plants could be online by 2020. That CCS is a dead end for real climate solutions is a matter of simple mathematics.”

Third, the plan would likely allocate revenue to some of the country’s biggest polluters instead of helping working families who need the money to offset increased costs associated with the proposed legislation in the early years of the rules.

Fourth, the legislation would be full of loopholes, allowing polluters to cheat by buying their way out of compliance with domestic and international offsets.

Finally, the plan wouldn’t allow states and regions to take leadership on cap-and-trade programs with more stringent targets if they choose to take even stronger action than the federal government.

“Solving the global warming crisis demands that we come to terms with the full-scale of the problem and the full-scale of the solution required. Last Friday, 152 members of Congress showed that full-scale solutions are not only possible, but also politically feasible. The chairs could learn a lot from their colleagues.”


4 Responses to Other reactions to the Dingell-Boucher

  1. rpauli says:

    It is nice to have a clearly defined lightning rod for delay and obstructionism.

  2. David B. Benson says:

    We’re toast. :-(

  3. David B. Benson says:

    Beyond the tipping point:


  4. paulm says:

    David that is a sobering article.

    I think that we should commit sizable resources to try to understand how the climate has toggled between warm and cold.

    If we start to understand this may be we can engineer control of the toggle.

    I believe our current path of addressing climate change is doomed to failure.

    We have to start considering all possible solutions in the attempt to regulate the climate if we should continue to exist as we are.