Urge Harry Reid to back a good carbon cap on utilities
UPDATE 7/22/10: Please be advised that Harry Reid has abandoned the effort to include ANY climate legislation in the Spill Bill. You may wish to send the letter anyway, but keep that in mind.
Original post: Senate Democrats are still discussing what should go into a catch-all bill on the oil spill, energy, and climate change. One proposal that might make it into the final bill is a carbon emissions cap on utilities. Now powerful utility companies, who contribute large sums to federal campaigns, are demanding to be exempted from existing Clean Air Act regulations on other harmful and toxic emissions, in exchange for supporting a weak carbon cap. Tell Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid to push as hard as possible for a stronger cap on carbon emissions and to oppose trading our air quality for climate progress.
I am writing to support passage of the "Spill Bill" with clean energy and climate provisions included, before the 2010 election. It is critical that anything Congress passes in that direction be considered a true step forward, not a step back. With that in mind, I want to make clear my support for a strong carbon emissions cap on utilities (at the very least), as long as this does not roll back existing emissions regulations for utilities that emit other toxins and particulates. Our children are already at risk from the effects of climate change, and we should not increase the threats of other emissions to their health. As a matter of social justice, too, we cannot allow utilities to increase their emissions in predominantly minority and low-income communities once again.
Although a utility-only carbon cap would be a limited measure, I believe that now more than ever, we must begin transitioning America to a cleaner, greener future. Climate change is real and urgent, and we can gain many clean energy jobs during the necessary transition. The sooner this happens the better. A carbon cap on utilities will be a step in the right direction, and it will get a larger process moving.
Senator Reid, please include a strong carbon cap on utilities and do not exempt polluters from existing emissions regulations. Do not let this wait until after November, because you will never have a stronger chance than now. Please push as hard as possible now to make this happen.
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