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Justice, Peace, and Integrity of Creation

A Ministry of the Missionary Oblates of Mary Immaculate

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Broad Coalition Asks Senate for Climate Change Legislation

March 19th, 2010

CO2The Missionary Oblates JPIC Office joined184 businesses and organizations, and 77 individual activists, calling on the Senate to legislate action to curb global warming. The letter, which was sent to all members of the Senate, argues that “greenhouse gas emissions can be cut swiftly and in an economically and environmentally sound way by means of a national emissions cap that is realized through a combination of aggressive energy efficiency and renewable energy standards.”

The organizations noted that “by focusing on this three-pronged strategy (i.e., carbon cap + efficiency + renewables), it may prove unnecessary – for the moment at least – to tackle either of the two most controversial options for addressing climate change: creating a “trading system” for emissions credits or imposing carbon taxes.”

The letter also stressed that “climate legislation that promotes continued or expanded use of fossil fuels and/or nuclear power, or which rolls back existing environmental safeguards, could result in a bill that might actually be worse than no bill at all.”

Specifically:

  • The United States should establish a mandatory cap on allowable greenhouse gas emissions as well as both a near-term and a longer-term schedule for reducing overall emissions to levels consistent with the best science now available (e.g., 30% or more by 2020).
  • The cornerstone of near-term U.S. climate policy should be quickly reducing energy waste and fossil fuel consumption. Rapidly curbing energy consumption by 30% or more is well within reach.
  • The goal of 25% renewable energy by 2025 – or an even stronger one – should be formally incorporated in Senate climate or energy legislation.

On the other hand,

  • U.S. climate policy should include the aggressive phase-out of coal-fired plants and oil use in the transportation sector. Federal subsidies for the fossil fuel industries should be ramped down considerably, if not completely eliminated.
  • There should be no financial or regulatory incentives for new nuclear construction or relicensing of existing plants.
  • Existing environmental or human-health safeguards should not be rolled-back; in particular, the authority of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency to regulate CO2 emissions should be left intact.

The letter was spearheaded by the Sustainable Energy Network which is an unincorporated network founded in 2006 comprised of 625+ organizations, businesses, and individuals advocating aggressive development of sustainable energy technologies to curb energy imports, slash greenhouse gas emissions, and phase out nuclear power.

The full text of the letter and list of signers are available here (Download PDF)

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