News Release

Senators’ Global Warming Proposal

Sens. John Kerry, Joseph Lieberman and Lindsey Graham yesterday had a news conference where they talked about a “framework” for legislation on global warming. Said Lieberman: “You remember the artist formerly known as Prince? This is the market-based system for punishing polluters previously known as ‘cap and trade.'”

Wysham is a fellow of the Institute for Policy Studies. She is a content adviser to the new short film “The Story of Cap and Trade” .

Wysham said today: “While tens of thousands of concerned global citizens are gathered in Copenhagen, grappling with the staggering impacts already being felt by the poorest people globally due to climate change, the best our Senate can do is reiterate support for a target that will get America nowhere near what is required of us to achieve climate stability. Instead of leading, we are surrendering to what is most expedient for our most heavily subsidized industries — the fossil fuel and nuclear industries.

“The [senators’] statement suggests strong support for nuclear power. The amount of money and energy required to store the carbon emitted by coal — if the technology is ever proven — and nuclear power would be far better spent on investments in energy resources we know will be with us forever — namely, wind, solar, and other non-fossil and non-nuclear-based energy resources.

“The statement also claims it supports the inclusion of a significant quantity of ‘verifiable offsets’ — which is, according to the U.S. Government Accountability Office, an oxymoron. Carbon offsets are akin to ‘subprime mortgages’: They will drive speculators to invest in an invisible, highly corruptible, unverifiable market while doing nothing to stabilize our climate.

“Finally, the statement disparages the role of government regulation and claims that a ‘market approach’ is preferable. If ever there was a time to not place all of our faith in Wall Street traders to solve our nation’s problems, this is it.”

Wysham recently wrote the piece “Cap and Trade Should Go the Way of the DoDo Before We Do.”

A debate is being held this evening in Copenhagen on “cap and trade” at 7 p.m. local time (1 p.m. ET) with:

* Dirk Forrister, now managing director of Natsource LLC, an environmental fund management and advisory firm and previously chairman of the White House Climate Change Task Force in the Clinton administration and the energy program manager at Environmental Defense Fund

* Michael Dorsey, assistant professor in Dartmouth College’s Environmental Studies Program and the director of the college’s Climate Justice Research Project

For live video, see here

For more information, contact at the Institute for Public Accuracy:
Sam Husseini, (202) 347-0020; or David Zupan, (541) 484-9167