America's Climate Security Act of 2007

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Following the introduction and debate of several bills aimed at combating climate change, Sens. Joe Lieberman and John Warner announced in August 2007 they would introduce a bill containing a cap-and-trade system for limiting greenhouse gas emissions.[1]

On October 18, 2007, Lieberman and Warner introduced S. 2191, America's Climate Security Act of 2007. The bill was the ninth to be introduced since the beginning of 2007.[2]

In May 2008, Lieberman and Warner re-introduced the bill as the Lieberman-Warner Climate Security Act of 2008, S.3036.
Main article: Climate Security Act 2008

Bill Summary

<USbillinfo congress="110" bill="S.2191" />

  • Capping greenhouse emissions: The bill would impose emission limits on electric utility, transportation, and manufacturing industries.[2]
    • Between 2005 and 2012: The bill caps emissions at 5200 million metric tons of CO2 equivalent, the estimated levels during 2005.[3]
    • Between 2012 and 2020: Further reductions of 2 percent per year should result in a 15% reduction below 2005 levels.[3]
    • Between 2020 and 2050: Emissions should be reduced by 70% by 2050.[3]
  • Transition assistance: To smooth the way for companies and individuals, the Lieberman-Warner bill includes financial incentives for reducing emissions
    • Low- and middle-income families: The legislation calls for $350 billion in assistance for low- and middle-income families though 2030.[4] The money would come from programs such as the Low Income Weatherization Assistance Program.
    • Modernization assistance: The legislation provides $500 billion through 2030 for investments in zero- and low-carbon technologies.[4]

Bill Progress

Subcommittee Passage

On November 1, 2007, the Subcommittee on Private Sector and Consumer Solutions approved the measure, and recommended it to the full Committee on Environment and Public Works. During the subcommittee hearing, Sen. Bernard Sanders tried unsuccessfully to modify substantial portions of the bill, with only one proposed amendment accepted. He had attempted to "strengthen the auction of pollution allocations, lower the cap on emissions, earmark subsidies for renewable energies, demand accountability from the auto industry, and diminish industry's capacity to stall simply by buying carbon offsets."[5]

Approval in Environment and Public Works Committee

Warner joined Democrats and Lieberman in approving the legislation on December 5, 2007, following a day of debate in the Environment and Public Works Committee.[6] According to one report, Republican Sens. Jim Inhofe (Okla.) and Larry Craig (Idaho) offered 150 amendments to the act.[7] In addition, The Mercury News reported that opponents "failed to amend the bill with a provision that would end the emissions caps unless China - about to become the world's largest emitter of greenhouse gases - adopted similar restrictions within 10 years." Inhofe said the bill would cost 2.3 million during the next 10 years.[8]

Some groups and lawmakers remained skeptical that the bill would do enough to curb emissions. A representative of the Union of Concerned Scientists said the bill was a "strong foundation" but, expressed a desire for tougher measures:

If we are to have a fighting chance to avoid the worst effects of climate change, the United States has to cut emissions by 80 percent from current levels by the middle of the century.[8]

The committee approved the legislation by a 11-8 vote. No timetable has been announced as to when the bill might reach the full Senate for debate.

Support, opposition and critiques


The following people and organizations endorsed the Lieberman-Warner bill:


The following people, companies and organizations were opposed to the bill:

Articles and resources

Related SourceWatch articles


  1. Steven Mufson, "2 Senators to Unveil Climate Bill," The Washington Post, August 2, 2007.
  2. 2.0 2.1 Stephanie I. Cohen, "Is the latest climate change bill getting warmer?," The Washington Post, August 2, 2007.
  3. 3.0 3.1 3.2 Daniel Lashof, "Global Warming Pollution Reductions under the Lieberman-Warner Bill," National Resources Defense Council, October 16, 2007.
  4. 4.0 4.1 "Assessment of America’s Climate Security Act of 2007," National Wildlife Federation, October 30, 2007.
  5. Brian Beutler, "Tracking Lieberman-Warner: What's next?," Gristmill, November 1, 2007.
  6. Frank Davies, "Major global warming bill headed for Senate", The Mercury News, December 6, 2007
  7. "Don't Say We Didn't Warner You", Grist, December 6, 2007
  8. 8.0 8.1 John M. Broder, "Senate Panel Passes Bill to Limit Greenhouse Gases", The Washington Post, December 6, 2007
  9. "The Boxer-Lieberman-Warner Climate Security Act Substitute Amendment (pdf)," NRDC, May 2008.
  10. 10.0 10.1 10.2 10.3 Ted Barrett, "Global warming bill faces stiff GOP opposition," CNN, June 2, 2008.
  11. Alert, "Senate Climate Change Bill Could Give Billions of Taxpayer Dollars to the Nuclear Power Industry," NIRS, May 12, 2008.
  12. Press release, "Response to Lieberman-Warner substitute," Friends of the Earth, May 21, 2008.

External resources

External articles