Sen. Kit Bond and industry-friendly colleagues are stepping up their efforts to gut key portions of the federal climate bill, now being considered in the Senate. Yesterday, Bond announced two proposed amendments to limit the Environmental Protection Agency's ability to regulate carbon dioxide, one of the key global warming pollutants that threatens public health and safety.
Bond's amendments are similar in nature to Alaska Senator Lisa Murkowski's amendment to hamstring the EPA's ability to regulate carbon dioxide. Her proposed amendment would prohibit CO2 from non-car sources from being considered a pollutant and block the EPA from taking any action to address those non-car carbon dioxide sources. Effectively, her amendment would let power plants and other other corporate polluters -- the largest sources of US carbon dioxide emissions -- off the hook.
Bond's opposition to the Waxman-Markey climate change legislation is well known -- he doesn't think think there's a climate change or global warming crisis, he's received enormous financial support from oil and gas companies and has been sharing misleading information with the public about the bill.
It's worth noting, however, that large majorities favor action to reduce carbon emissions, and would more likely to support members of Congress who vote to reduce carbon emissions. From a Pew survey a few months ago:
Voters are Nearly Unanimous in Demanding Action on Global Warming
Americans are demanding action on global warming. Our just completed survey shows that a huge 82% supermajority of voters want the U.S. to reduce its emissions of gases like carbon dioxide that cause global warming. What's more, support for action is quite intense as an overwhelming 65% not only favor U.S. action, but do so “strongly” (17% not so strongly). A mere 10% remnant are opposed (5% undecided, 2% don't know).
Demands for action are not confined to any one region or party. Eighty-six percent (86%) of Northeasterners, 80% in the South, 79% in the Midwest, and 88% in the West all favor action to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. Strong majorities across party hold the same view (90% of Democrats, 79% of independents, and 75% of Republicans).
Further evidence of the public’s desire for bold efforts in this arena comes from the fact that fully 89%—almost everyone—deems U.S. action on global warming as important (58% say it is "very important").
Voters Want Members to Reduce the Pollution Causing Global Warming
Voting to require factories and power plants to reduce their global warming pollution by 70% by the year 2050 is a significant image booster for individual Members of Congress. All told, 64% of voters say they would feel more favorably toward their own Member of Congress if they supported such a bill, compared to only 12% who would feel less favorably about their representative if they voted “yes” (24% say it would not make a difference).
Voting to reduce global warming pollution would generate good will for Members from voters across the political spectrum, with 76% of Democrats, 61% of independents and 51% of Republicans all saying they would feel more favorably toward their Member for supporting this legislation. The same response is evident in every corner of the country, with 69% of voters in the Northeast saying they would feel more favorably, 62% in the Midwest, 62% in the South, and 65% in the West. In addition, 73% believe passing such legislation would constitute an important accomplishment by Congress, while just 21% do not.
Hopefully, the Senate will reject Bond's latest attempt to weaken the bill (along with Murkowski's), and we can see some real legislation to create clean energy jobs and curb climate-changing pollution.
Image credit: State Historical Society of Missouri