American power act: NRDC’s “First Read” of the Kerry-Lieberman climate and energy legislation

Senators John Kerry (D-MA) and Joe Lieberman (I-CT) unveiled today the long-awaited draft of their American Power Act. The launch of their bill kicks off an intensive effort to pass comprehensive climate and energy legislation in the Senate this summer, reconcile it with the bill passed by the House, and put a final bill on the president’s desk to sign into law this year.

As the Deepwater Horizon disaster continues to unfold with tragic consequences, it has become painfully clear that America needs a safer, cleaner approach to energy development. Congress must enact a comprehensive clean energy and climate bill this year that puts America back in control of our energy situation. This draft bill gets us moving in the right direction.

G. Adaptation to Climate Impacts

Domestic climate change impacts. The bill allocates a small amount of allowance revenue to address adaptation of our natural resources, wildlife, and fisheries to the impacts climate change and ocean acidification. The bill dedicates no resources to meet adaptation needs in the areas of fire protection and water resource management – especially serious concerns in the nation’s arid regions – as well as for public health concerns aggravated by climate change.

The bill actively encourages offshore drilling in previously protected areas by offering states a whopping 37.5% share of revenues generated by offshore oil and gas activity, with no strings attached. This provides a strong fiscal incentive for states to allow oil-related industrial development in coastal and marine areas already under stress from pollution, overfishing, ocean acidification and warming.

David Doniger, (Policy Director, NRDC Climate Center), The Huffington Post, 13 May 2010. Full article.

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