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WWF Calls on Senate Democrats to Commit to Comprehensive Climate and Clean Energy Legislation

Full Senate Democratic Caucus to Meet Today to Determine Path Forward on Climate and Clean Energy

WASHINGTON, DC, June 17, 2010 – World Wildlife Fund officials today called on the Senate Democratic caucus to commit to passing a bill that includes a limit on fossil fuel pollution when it meets today to decide on a path forward on a climate and clean energy bill. 

WWF issued the following statement from Lou Leonard, Director of US Climate Policy:

“Earlier this week, President Obama rallied the nation to the cause of an energy independent future – a future in which catastrophic oil spills, dirty air and fossil fuel pollution will give way to millions of clean energy jobs, a stronger economy and healthier environment.  It is a challenge that has been issued by Republican and Democratic presidents for decades.  What’s different today is the stark clarity of the true costs of our oil addiction, reflected in the oily sheen blanketing the gulf.  Continuing to kick this can down the road is a path that neither our economy nor our environment can afford.

“Moving America away from oil and other dangerous fossil fuels must be at the core of any Senate energy bill.  As the President said, we must make clean energy the profitable kind of energy and ensure polluters pay.  The only way to do that is to place a limit on fossil fuel pollution that will send a signal to the private sector to invest in clean, American-made energy that will never spill.

“Make no mistake, our addiction to fossil fuels is directly tied to the current disaster in the gulf.  It is also at the heart of coal mining disasters that have claimed American lives and spoiled our environment in recent months.  In order to feed that addiction, we are digging in ever deeper and ever more dangerous places.  The only way to break this fossil fuel stranglehold is to finally make oil companies and other big polluters pay for their pollution. This is why a clear pollution limit must be part of any clean energy bill that moves through the Senate. 

“The public gets it: according to a poll recently released by the League of Conservation Voters, 66 percent of Americans want the Senate’s response to the BP disaster to include provisions that hold polluters accountable and invest in clean energy.

“Given the broad support for a comprehensive bill, it is hard to understand excuses for inaction.  Key American businesses, faith leaders, labor unions, sportsmen, and Republicans and Democrats have called for climate and clean energy legislation.  Poll after poll shows that the American people overwhelmingly support an energy bill that includes a firm cap on carbon pollution. 

The rhetoric that a comprehensive approach is politically difficult simply doesn’t match the reality.  It’s time for our leaders in the Senate to step up and lead during this pivotal moment in American history.  The President has thrown down the gauntlet.  Starting today, the Senate should pick it up and move to pass a comprehensive climate and clean energy bill in the coming weeks that limits fossil fuel pollution, creates American jobs and protects the public, our environment and our economy from another fossil fuel disaster.”