In this letter to Grist reader and Illinois constituent Kevin Wolz, Sen. Dick Durbin signals strong support for the Kerry-Boxer climate bill:
Dear Mr. Wolz,
Thank you for contacting me regarding the creation of a national “cap-and-trade” program to address global warming. I appreciate hearing from you.
Global warming is one of the most significant environmental crises we face. Most scientists believe that increasing concentrations of carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases will raise the earth’s temperature by as much as three to ten degrees Fahrenheit by the end of the century.
I believe Congress needs to take action to address global warming. Science has shown that we can’t afford to wait any longer. If we tackle the sources of carbon pollution and take steps to reduce the impacts of global warming, we can protect our environmental future while expanding our economy. However, if we choose to ignore global warming and its consequences, we are placing our planet and our future in grave danger and could face large-scale economic consequences that threaten our national security.
Senator Boxer of California has introduced the Clean Energy Jobs and American Power Act (S. 1733) to help our nation take meaningful steps toward reducing greenhouse gas emissions and combating global warming. It would establish a national cap-and-trade system and would cap greenhouse gas emissions at 20 percent below the 2005 level by 2020, with a goal of reducing emissions by 80 percent by the year 2050.
In addition, S. 1733 would make a significant investment in energy efficiency and the development of clean, domestic energy sources. By supporting energy efficiency, renewable energy, carbon capture and sequestration, and other clean energy technologies, this legislation will move our nation toward energy independence, strengthen our national security, and protect our environment. An investment in clean energy will also mean the creation of a wide range of new jobs here in the United States, jobs which cannot be outsourced.
Your voice is a valuable part of this discussion. I will keep your thoughts in mind as the Senate continues to debate the Clean Energy Jobs and American Power Act.
Thank you again for taking the time to contact me. Please feel free to keep in touch.
Richard J. Durbin
United States Senator
Durbin has long fought for action on climate change. In 2007, he introduced legislation that would require a “National Intelligence Estimate” assessing the national security implications of climate change. In 2006, Durbin joined 39 other senators in writing a letter to then-President Bush calling for “a national program of mandatory limits on global warming pollution that slows, stops, and reverses emissions.” And in 2003, he sponsored an amendment that would have required cars and SUVs to get 40 miles per gallon by 2015.