McCain, Lieberman Laud Bi-Partisan House Climate Change Bill

Senators see gathering momentum for global warming legislation

March 30, 2004

WASHINGTON- Senators John McCain (R-AZ) and Joe Lieberman (D-CT) today welcomed the introduction of a House companion bill to their Climate Stewardship Act. The Senators joined a bi-partisan group of 9 co-sponsors of the House bill at a press conference in the Capitol, where they expressed optimism about the gathering momentum on Capitol Hill for curbing the devastating effects of global warming. Overall, the House bill has 10 Democratic and 10 Republican co-sponsors. “Climate change continues to be a serious problem and every day there is no action on this issue the more serious the consequences will be. We have come close to success in the past with our bill, and Sen. Lieberman and I hope to carry that momentum into the spring and pass our bill through the Senate," McCain said. "I thank my colleagues in the House for their work on this crucial environmental issue.” “From the bipartisan array of members that have joined us here today, it is clear to me that our message on this bill is resonating across the country, and across the political divide,” Lieberman said. “With today’s House introduction of this legislation, we are taking one more step towards the day in which this nation comes to grips with the challenge of global warming.” Despite strong support in the Senate, the McCain-Lieberman bill fell short in a vote last October on the Senate floor. Earlier this month, both Senators pledged to bring the bill up for another vote in the Senate this year, and they remain optimistic that they will improve upon the 44 Senators who supported their bill last year. According to a United Nations study, every ton of greenhouse gas emitted into the atmosphere costs each American up to $160 - and the United States is currently emitting billions of tons each year. Property lost to rising sea levels, cropland lost to draught, and revenues lost to dwindling fishing stocks caused by global warming also represent real costs - not to mention the immeasurable damage to Americans’ health and quality of living. According to a recent Zogby poll, 75% of 1,200 citizens polled supported requiring major industries to reduce their greenhouse gas emissions, with more than 70% support in each region of the nation. The McCain-Lieberman legislation, crafted in close consultation with industry leaders and supported by the environmental community, is modeled after the successful acid rain trading program of the 1990 Clean Air Act. It would require a reduction in carbon dioxide emission levels to 2000 levels by the year 2010 by capping the overall greenhouse gas emissions from the electricity generation, transportation, industrial, and commercial economic sectors, and creating a market for individual companies to trade pollution credits.