Center for Biological Diversity

"American Power Act" Disaster for Planet and Climate

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After many months of back-room negotiations between senators, major polluters, and Washington insiders, on May 12 U.S. Senators John Kerry, D-Mass., and Joseph Lieberman, I-Conn., proposed a climate and energy bill that's a disaster for our planet and climate.
 
The "American Power Act" will not solve the problems of global warming, and it entrenches our addiction to fossil fuels by offering incentives for increased oil and gas drilling just days after what appears to be the worst offshore oil disaster in American history.

This proposal echoes greenhouse pollution-reduction targets that scientists recently called "paltry" and inadequate to prevent the worst impacts of climate change. Scientists have determined that reducing carbon pollution to 350 parts per million is necessary to preserve life as we know it. 350 ppm must be the bottom line for all climate and energy policies. The senators' weak targets will not reduce carbon pollution to below 350 ppm from its current level of 391 ppm.

Here's what you need to know about the bill. It:

• provides only a fraction of the greenhouse gas pollution reductions scientists have said are necessary to avoid catastrophic climate disruption;

bans successful Clean Air Act programs from reducing greenhouse pollution;

bans existing state and local efforts to tackle climate change;

catalyzes increased oil and gas drilling — including offshore drilling;

subsidizes dangerous and costly nuclear energy; and

incentivizes the destruction of forests for biomass energy production.

Please contact your senators today and urge them to reject the "American Power Act" proposal if the major problems above are not addressed. We need to take strong action now to address the climate crisis — and the current proposal is a giant step backwards. A successful climate bill must build upon, and not roll back, our existing foundation of environmental protections, and it must achieve the greenhouse-pollution reductions necessary to avert dangerous climate disruption.

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Please take action by June 30, 2010.

Coal plant photo courtesy Illinois State Geological Service.