Lieberman-Warner polluter giveaways 'obscene'


October 30, 2007

For Immediate Release

For more information contact:
Nick Berning, 202-222-0748

Friends of the Earth releases new analysis of bill's auction and allocation giveaways

WASHINGTON -- Corporate polluters will hit the jackpot if global warming legislation proposed by Sens. Joe Lieberman (I-Conn.) and John Warner (R-Va.) becomes law, according to an analysis released today by Friends of the Earth.

"The Lieberman-Warner bill will reward corporate polluters by handing them pollution permits worth almost half a trillion dollars," said Friends of the Earth's Erich Pica, one of the authors of the analysis. "And that's just one part of this bill. The bill also includes hundreds of billions of dollars of other mind-boggling giveaways. The levels of pollution-rewarding giveaways in this bill are truly obscene."

In particular, Friends of the Earth's analysis found that the bill:

* Provides the coal industry and other fossil fuel industries pollution permits worth $436 billion over the life of the legislation; 58 percent of this amount goes to coal
* Returns revenue raised through auctions directly to polluters -- for example, an additional $324 billion would subsidize the coal industry's efforts to develop carbon capture and storage mechanisms
* Directs another $522 billion of auction revenue to low or zero-emissions technologies, which could result in handouts to the nuclear power, big hydro and coal industries, which are not clean (these funds could also be directed toward important clean technologies, such as wind and solar -- the legislation is not specific)

Friends of the Earth and other environmental advocates have argued that successful global warming legislation should make polluters pay for all of their greenhouse gas emissions -- and certainly not reward them for it. In this case, that means a 100 percent auction. And, instead of being used to reward polluters, revenues from the auction should be directed toward efforts to further reduce emissions, including energy efficiency, renewable energy, and investments in public transportation infrastructure, as well as relief for individuals coping with increased energy prices, and support for poor communities in the U.S. and developing nations in adapting to climate change.

"The polluter giveaways are one of several major flaws in this bill," Pica said. "However, some senators -- including Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) and Frank Lautenberg (D-N.J.) -- are seeking improvements. We hope they can succeed in winning improvements before the bill moves out of subcommittee."

The Friends of the Earth analysis being released today pertains to the current language of the bill. Friends of the Earth previously released an analysis of a draft of the bill.

For more information, see Friends of the Earth's analysis of the Lieberman-Warner bill, available here: http://www.foe.org/globalwarming/Lieberman-Warner_giveaways_analysis.pdf

For a chart detailing giveaways in the Lieberman-Warner bill, visit: http://www.foe.org/globalwarming/Lieberman-Warner_table.pdf

To see a one-page overview of improvements needed in the bill as a whole, visit: http://www.foe.org/globalwarming/Lieberman-Warner_overview.pdf

Friends of the Earth President Brent Blackwelder's statement about the introduction of the bill can be viewed here: http://action.foe.org/pressRelease.jsp?press_release_KEY=275

###