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Lieberman-Warner Global Warming Legislation Provides Vehicle for Important Senate Debate

Giveaways to dirty fuels must be reduced

December 5, 2007

(Washington, DC)  The Senate Environment and Public Works Committee moved global warming legislation to the full Senate today, marking a significant development in the effort to curb greenhouse gas emissions.  The Lieberman-Warner bill, S. 2191 as amended by the chair, was reported out of the committee with few amendments and likely will be considered by the full Senate in 2008.

“While the reductions in greenhouse gases represented in the bill are significant, we hope efforts to strengthen the bill on the Senate floor will be successful,” said Dr. Michael McCally, Executive Director of Physicians for Social Responsibility. “The allowances for coal-fired power plants are too generous, and language was added to the bill that identifies nuclear as a beneficiary of subsidies.  These are serious flaws.”

The bill seeks to reduce current emissions by more than 15 percent by 2020 with additional reductions nearing 60 percent by mid-century.  PSR seeks more rapid reductions in these emissions and fewer allocation giveaways to dirty power sources, primarily coal.

“Coal plants produce more than carbon dioxide.  PSR cannot support any efforts to promote more coal facilities that emit sulfur dioxide, nitrogen oxides, mercury and other pollutants that harm human health.  There is no such thing as clean coal technology as long as it allows plants to dump millions of tons of pollutants into the air,” added McCally.

PSR sees global warming as one of the gravest threats to human health and security.  Millions are expected to suffer from water and food shortages worldwide, while heat waves, incidences of disease and threats from severe weather will increase in the U.S.

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