Sens. John Kerry, D-Mass., Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., and Joe Lieberman, I-Conn., released their framework for comprehensive climate change and energy independence legislation.
The senators are proposing a near-term pollution-reduction target in the range of 17% below 2005 emissions levels. This is the same level that is contained in climate change legislation that was passed by the House this year. The senators also pointed out the need for investment in the development and deployment of clean energy technologies.
The framework notes that significant transition assistance will be provided to companies and consumers without using taxpayer dollars or diving up national debt; however, details were not provided.
In addition, the senators also advocated national greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions standards.
‘Since it is not reasonable to expect businesses to comply with 50 different standards, it is imperative that a federal pollution-control system be meaningful and be set by federally elected officials,’ the framework letter states.
The senators point out that the U.S. will play a leading role to address climate change but that others countries must play follow suit. Therefore, the framework proposes strong measures to prevent ‘economic competitors from exploiting the American market if they shirk their responsibility to minimize carbon pollution.’
The letter was delivered to President Barack Obama ahead of his appearance at the United Nations Climate Change Conference in Copenhagen.
SOURCE: Office of Sen. John Kerry