Democrats Push Bill to 'Stop Global Warming'

By Susan Jones | July 7, 2008 | 8:31pm EDT

( - In the middle of a summertime heat wave, House Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi announced on Tuesday that she is co-sponsoring legislation intended to stop global warming.

H.R. 5642, the Safe Climate Act of 2006, was introduced by Rep. Henry Waxman of California and more than 30 other House Democrats.

According to a posting on Waxman's website, the bill would freeze U.S. greenhouse gas emissions in 2010, at 2009 levels.

Beginning in 2011, it would cut emissions by roughly two percent a year, supposedly reaching 1990 emissions levels by 2020. After 2020, it would cut emissions by roughly five percent a year. By 2050, greenhouse gas emissions are supposed to be 80 percent lower than they were in 1990.

The bill allows for a cap-and-trade program, in which the biggest polluters would be allowed to meet emission targets by buying and selling emission allowances.

Proceeds from the sale of allowances would be deposited in a "Climate Reinvestment Fund," which would support technology research and development, compensate consumers for any energy cost increases, and protect against harm from climate change by "safeguarding water supplies, protecting against hurricanes, and mitigating harm to fish and wildlife habitat."

Pelosi, in a press release announcing her support for the bill, accused the Bush administration and Republican congressional leaders of being "willing partners" in a conspiracy to lie about global warming -- and to discredit scientists who speak against it.

"For decades, Big Oil and other polluting industries have undermined and obstructed the voices of scientists on global warming, just as Big Tobacco did for so many years on the issue of cigarettes, spreading doubt in the minds of Americans," Pelosi said.

"But the scientific evidence of global warming is overwhelming," Pelosi said.

"The Arctic ice is melting, and Greenland's massive icecap is liquefying with unexpected speed. The oceans are warming, potentially generating stronger hurricanes, and becoming more acidic, threatening the building blocks of the marine food chain. The current heat waves across the United States and Europe, and the wildfires in the West, may be an unpleasant taste of what is to come."

A similar bill was introduced in the Senate last week by Sen. Jim Jeffords (I-Vt.), but its chances of advancing are not good, since Sen. James Inhofe (R-Okla.), the chairman of the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee, is a longtime skeptic of human-caused global warming theories.

See Earlier Story:
'Global Warming' TV Special 'Misleads Public,' Scientist Says (July 14, 2006)

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