Take Action: Tell Congress It Must Do Better

Waxman-Markey Supporters

Congress is poised to squander a historic opportunity to move closer to a clean energy future. The energy and climate bill moving through the U.S. House is based on a proposal from a group that includes Shell Oil, the coal-burning utility Duke Energy, and other corporate polluters.1 These firms — as well as Wall Street traders who call the bill’s carbon markets a "huge playground" where "bucks [will] be made"2 — are backing the bill.

This should be a red flag for progressives.

There's a simple reason polluting and irresponsible corporations support the Waxman-Markey bill: It showers them with hundreds of billions of dollars, but doesn't require them to reduce pollution fast enough to avoid devastating climate change impacts.3 Worse, the bill guts the EPA’s preexisting authority to use the Clean Air Act to reduce this pollution.4 That means the bill is actually counterproductive — enacting it into law would be a step backward. What we need from Congress is much stronger legislation that puts us on a path to the clean energy future President Obama talked about during his campaign.

An energy bill written by corporate polluters is not a solution. Please join us in fighting for change — use the form below to send a message to your representative today and demand a better bill.

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(1) In congressional testimony on April 22, 2009, the bill’s lead sponsor, House Energy and Commerce Committee Chair Henry Waxman, said, "As Chairman Markey and I worked on the draft legislation, our blueprint was a plan proposed by the U.S. Climate Action Partnership, a coalition of industry CEOs and environmental organizations." The U.S. CAP coalition includes Shell, Duke Energy, and other polluters.

(2) Gronewold, Nathaniel. “Wall Street Sees ‘Bucks to Be Made’ in House Climate Plan.” Greenwire. April 2, 2009.

(3) The U.S. should aim to cut emissions to at least 40 percent below 1990 levels by 2020 in order to account for our fair share of the global emissions reductions necessary to avoid many harmful climate change impacts. Unfortunately, this bill aims for a much more modest cut, and according to a Breakthrough Institute analysis, if its “offset” loopholes are used at levels predicted by the Congressional Budget Office and if its “banking” loopholes are fully utilized, the bill is unlikely to lead to any emissions reductions at all until after 2018.

(4) The 2007 Mass v EPA Supreme Court ruling affirmed that the Environmental Protection Agency has the authority to use the Clean Air Act to reduce global warming pollution, but this bill would eliminate much of that authority.