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Obstructionist Tactics Block the Climate Security Act but Momentum Grows for Global Warming Solutions

Frances Beinecke

Posted June 6, 2008

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In a historic moment, the Senate failed to take the leadership that America and the world need to address climate change. It did not pass the Climate Security Act after opponents used procedural gimmicks to tie up the Senate for most of this week, preventing serious consideration of the bill. But the good news is that for the first time, a majority of the U.S. Senate voiced support for moving forward with action on real global warming legislation.  

This morning, 54 senators stood up and committed to putting the United States on the right path to reduce our global warming pollution and begin confronting this critical issue that is affecting every creature of the planet. Some of these senators are converts, having previously opposed global warming legislation. Some are new senators who voted for the first time on global warming legislation. All 54 should be thanked.  

Thirty six senators backed away. These senators need to hear from people across the country that they have failed us, our children, and grandchildren. They also failed our economy, because as recent studies reveal, failing to confront global warming will be terribly costly.

As we move forward, we will go into every state and tell the American people the truth, loudly and clearly, about where senators stood at this critical juncture. This is a moment for leadership. The public is begging for it, and those who do not stand up will be held accountable.

And we will continue this fight. The science, the level of public support, and the sheer urgency surrounding global warming compel us to continue the battle. We will succeed in transforming our energy future to one that reduces emissions, invests in efficiency and new technologies, and takes us into a cleaner, more sustainable 21st century.

I am encouraged by the fact that we have taken comprehensive global warming legislation farther than it has ever gone before. A national limit on global warming pollution is inevitable. It could be just months away. We are grateful for the leadership of Senators Boxer, Lieberman, Warner, and Reid for bringing us this far today.  

While President Bush promised to veto the Climate Security Act, the candidates to become our next president have made it clear that they will make reducing global warming pollution a priority for their administration. And once we have a president who exhibits real leadership on this issue, we will see a lot of the fence-sitters in the Senate come over to our side. 

It’s just a matter for time before America makes a real commitment to solving global warming. But delay is costly, so we all need to redouble our efforts in order to make that time as short as possible.



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Douglas SimpsonJun 6 2008 01:39 PM

Where can citizens find a authoritative list of the voting by Senator on this action, and of those whose actions fostered the filibuster? Their betrayal of future generations to the financial interests of Big Oil, King Coal and Dinosaur Detroit should be immortalized and remembered in November 08, 10 and 12.

Eric WepsicJun 6 2008 03:20 PM

The following is official. Someone who knows more than I should help interpret the "not voting" members, since some are absent for appropriate reasons and have expressed support.

Lori NeumannJun 6 2008 03:46 PM

Thanks, Eric, for sharing this link listing those who voted "nay". Looks like the absentees are listed too, so as not to be confused with the "nay" voters.

I plan on writing a few of the naysayers and sharing my disappointment with them.

Dan TroutmanJun 10 2008 12:33 AM

The Chinese and other developing countries must be laughing at Congress. The "Climate Security" Act was totally mislabeled and offered no "climate security" whatsover, but rather inflicted a massive cost to the price of doing business in America. How ironic that while we're trying to price ourselves out of productivity, the world's biggest smokestacks on the other side of the Pacific are still emitting CO2 and other gases.
One only has to look at all of the problems the European Union is having with the carbon credit market to realize that this isn't the best solution for America.
While I'm all for saving the environment, I don't believe we should have to go back to the Stone Age doing it. The real question is how best to tap natural resources in the face of growing GLOBAL demand and population growth? Artifically increasing the price of energy in order to reduce demand will ultimately create massive civil unrest.
Americans will stop caring about global warming when faced between having a job, clothing, and feeding a family. Wait and see....

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