Statement of Eileen Claussen
President, Pew Center on Global Climate Change
October 7, 2008
I commend Chairmen Dingell and Boucher for their leadership in producing draft legislation that advances the climate change debate and demonstrates the commitment needed to pass national climate policy in the next Congress. I am strongly encouraged that, even in the midst of challenging economic times, Chairmen Dingell and Boucher remain focused on producing a thoughtful piece of legislation that would reduce U.S. greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions.
I'm especially encouraged by the Chairmen's approach to reducing GHGs through an economy-wide cap-and-trade system. Cap and trade is the most economically efficient way to meet our most urgent environmental imperative. The discussion draft also looks to control costs with sensible mechanisms and to encourage rapid deployment of efficient and low-carbon technologies.
As with any draft, there is room for improvement and refinement, and here I look forward to seeing the debate progress, especially in discussions about the near-term emissions target, trade measures, and appropriate regulatory authorities. I recommend that the final bill include tighter caps requiring that GHG emissions be reduced to 1990 levels by 2020. Also, trade measures should only be considered as a last resort, and not be implemented before 2020 to allow other efforts to protect energy-intensive industries enough time to succeed. Finally, I am concerned about some proposed options regarding the pre-emption of existing state and EPA authority under the Clean Air Act.
That said, I salute the Chairmen for their dedication to tackling this difficult challenge and am anxious to get started on the work ahead.
Pew Center Summary of Dingell-Boucher Draft Legislation
Visit the House Energy and Commerce website for other related materials
Click here to read more about climate legislation and cap and trade
Watch Nikki Roy discuss the draft bill and legislative outlook on E&E TV
Read the statement from the U.S. Climate Action Partnership (USCAP)