U.S. Sens. Joseph
Lieberman (D-Conn.) and John McCain (R-Ariz) have jointly introduced legislation to limit emissions into the atmosphere from electricity generation, transportation, indusrial and commercial sources in an effort to slow or reverse the Greenhouse Effect, which scientists blame for changing global weather patterns.
Calling their proposed legislation, the "Climate Stewardship Act of 2005" the bill sets as a 2010 target for U.S. emissions 5,896 million metric tons of carbon dioxide
equivalents—the level of emissions that were estimated in the year 2,000. The industries covered under the bill account for 85 percent of known emissions in the United State; the rest coming from the agricultural and residential sectors, which would remain unregulated.
According to a summary issued by Lieberman, the measure would establish emission allowances for existing entities and permit them to trade or sell these allowances. Any company not meeting its emission limits would be fined for each ton of greenhouse gases over the limit at the rate of three times the market value of a ton of greenhouse gases. The market
value would be based upon the price of emission credits from trading system provided for in the bill.
Introducing the legislation Feb. 10, Lieberman said whereas global warming once was considered just a theory, today "as Senator McCain’s charts and pictures show, we can see with our eyes the effects of global warming already. The planet is warming. The polar ice caps are melting. You could see that with your own eyes. The sea level is rising in costal areas already, and in other areas, the water is diminishing, as in the state...of...Arizona. Water is declining. Forest fires are increasing. The evidence is clear that the problem is here and that’s why we have to do something about it. Doing nothing is no longer and option. We have reached a point where the intractable must yield to the inevitable. The evidence that climate change is real and dangerous keeps pouring in and piling up, and what this legislation is all about is pushing, cajoling, convincing the politics to catch up with the
He added in a statement: “If we are going to get the politics to catch up with the science we have got to engage the American people more. Senator McCain and I intend to conduct a series of open meetings throughout America on the subject of global warming. We will ask people to ask themselves whether they will have the water available to grow their communities and their businesses, whether our croplands will yield adequate food, whether our coastal communities will remain above water, whether new diseases will emerge, and of course whether there will be enough snow left to hit the ski slopes if we do not take action to curb greenhouse gases."