Bill to restrict greenhouse gases

By Kelly Finlan
September 4, 2003

The gases believed to be responsible for global warming and the hole in the ozone layer are under attack by two senators pushing a bill. The bill would limit the legal emission of greenhouse gases into the atmosphere by industrial plants and power plants.

Republican Senator John McCain of Arizona, and Democratic Senator Joseph Lieberman from Connecticut, stand behind the bill, and they looking for support.

The United States creates approximately 25 percent of the world’s greenhouse gases, according to McCain, the chairman of the Commerce and Transportation Committee.

“It is time for the United States government to do its part to address this global problem, and a discussion of mandatory reductions is the form of leadership that is required,” he told New York Times. When?

Under the bill, a “cap and trade” system would be created in which companies that surpass emissions limits would be taxed, according to the New York Times. This method has been used in the past to stave off the increasing threat of acid rain.

McCain and Lieberman originally intended this bill to be an amendment to the Energy bill, passed July 31 by a vote of 84-4, but they decided to let it be voted upon at a later date.

If passed, this bill would be the greatest reduction in industrial emissions the U.S. has every seen. By the year 2010, legal emissions would drop to the legal levels of 2000, and by the year 2016, the legal levels would drop to those of 1990.

Critics see this bill as being a “backdoor” attempt at upholding the Kyoto Protocol, a “binding treaty on climate change that the Clinton administration signed but the Senate never approved,” according to the New York Times. Many also think that this will only create a new tax on consumers.

The bill, as well as the limitation of carbon dioxide in any capacity, is opposed by the Bush administration.

Support for the bill is coming from many outlets. Political, as well as industrial, supporters fear that opposition to the bill will result in unfavorable reputations as environmentally unfriendly. Meanwhile, environmentally conscious investors are looking to

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