The following is a guest post from Tony Kreindler of Environmental Defense.


Glenn Hurowitz writes that Environmental Defense has "abandoned other green groups" by voicing support for climate change legislation introduced last week by Senators Joe Lieberman and John Warner. "Environmental Defense is once again destroying the unity of the environmental movement by endorsing this bill now despite some major weaknesses," he says.

For the record, Environmental Defense has not endorsed the Lieberman-Warner bill, America’s Climate Security Act. We’ve certainly praised parts of it we think work well, and we’ve given the authors what we think is well-deserved credit for making a serious attempt to get comprehensive climate change legislation passed in this Congress. We’ve also said we will work to strengthen the bill, particularly to achieve the deeper long-term emissions reductions scientists tell us we need to avoid a climate catastrophe. We may do that differently than some, but we will do it.

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Has Environmental Defense broken from the pack? All environmental groups have specific views on the bill’s strengths and weaknesses, which can’t fully be captured in the following quotes, but let’s take a look at what some other environmental groups had to say about the bill:

Gene Karpinski, President, League of Conservation Voters:

Today’s introduction of America’s Climate Security Act marks an important step by this Congress to address the urgent problem of global warming. We applaud Senators Joe Lieberman and John Warner for their leadership and for their bipartisan commitment to moving America closer to real solutions to this very urgent problem.

Larry Schweiger, President and CEO, National Wildlife Federation:

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This is a bipartisan breakthrough on global warming that takes us a giant step closer to a historic vote in the United States Senate. I commend Senator Lieberman and Senator Warner for drafting a strong bill to protect wildlife from global warming.

Frances Beinecke, President, Natural Resources Defense Council:

The introduction and planned markup of America’s Climate Security Act by Senators Joe Lieberman (I-Conn.) and John Warner (R-Va.) represents an important step forward in the overdue process to enact comprehensive, mandatory global warming legislation. Committee consideration of this legislation will help move us toward the substantial reductions in global warming pollution we need to protect our climate. The bill also recognizes the need to direct proceeds from the pollution allowance market to important policy objectives, including promoting clean energy solutions, protecting the poor and other consumers, ensuring a just transition for workers in affected industries, and preventing impacts abroad that lead to conflicts and threats to security.

And what did we say?

Lieberman and Warner have paved the way for a historic committee vote on a bill that promises to make great strides toward climate security and economic growth. Thanks to their thoughtful approach we’re moving beyond talk and quickly toward action.

Let’s hope that promise comes true.

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