Jun 29, 2009

H.R. 2454 - won't address the problem. In fact,it might make the problem worse.

Congressman Dennis Kucinich
"I oppose H.R. 2454, the American Clean Energy and Security Act of 2009.
...The reason is simple. It won't address the problem. In fact, it might make the problem worse.

"It sets targets that are too weak, especially in the short term, and sets about meeting those targets through Enron-style accounting methods. It gives new life to one of the primary sources of the problem that should be on its way out"" coal "" by giving it record subsidies. And it is rounded out with massive corporate giveaways at taxpayer expense. There is $60 billion for a single technology which may or may not work, but which enables coal power plants to keep warming the planet at least another 20 years.

"Worse, the bill locks us into a framework that will fail. Science tells us that immediately is not soon enough to begin repairing the planet. Waiting another decade or more will virtually guarantee catastrophic levels of warming. But the bill does not require any greenhouse gas reductions beyond current levels until 2030.

"Today's bill is a fragile compromise, which leads some to claim that we cannot do better. I respectfully submit that not only can we do better; we have no choice but to do better. Indeed, if we pass a bill that only creates the illusion of addressing the problem, we walk away with only an illusion. The price for that illusion is the opportunity to take substantive action.

"There are several aspects of the bill that are problematic.
1. Overall targets are too weak.
2. The offsets undercut the emission reductions.
4. EPA's authority to help reduce greenhouse gas emissions in the short- to medium-term is rescinded.
5. Nuclear power is given a lifeline instead of phasing it out.
6. Dirty Coal is given a lifeline instead of phasing it out.
7. The $60 billion allocated for Carbon Capture and Sequestration (CCS) is triple the amount of money for basic research and development in the bill. We should be pressuring China, India and Russia to slow and stop their power plants now instead of enabling their perpetuation. We cannot create that pressure while spending unprecedented amounts on a single technology that may or may not work. If it does not work on the necessary scale, we have then spent 10-20 years emitting more CO2, which we cannot afford to do. In addition, those who will profit from the technology will not be viable or able to stem any leaks from CCS facilities that may occur 50, 100, or 1000 years from now.
8. Carbon markets can and will be manipulated using the same Wall Street sleights of hand that brought us the financial crisis.

9. It is regressive. Free allocations doled out with the intent of blunting the effects on those of modest means will pale in comparison to the allocations that go to polluters and special interests.
10. The Renewable Electricity Standard (RES) is not an improvement. The 15% RES standard would be achieved even if we failed to act.
11. Dirty energy options qualify as "renewable"-: The bill allows polluting industries to qualify as "renewable energy."- Trash incinerators not only emit greenhouse gases, but also emit highly toxic substances.
12. It undermines our bargaining position in international negotiations in Copenhagen and beyond.
13. International assistance is much less than demanded by developing countries.

"Passing a weak bill today gives us weak environmental policy tomorrow,"- Kucinich.

Read more by congressman Dennis Kucinich at opednews