June 2008: Call to Action on Climate
The Lieberman-Warner Bill facing a vote in the Senate this Thursday proposes to establish a cap-and-trade system on carbon emissions, but we need your help to improve the bill. The permits would be sold at auction, generating revenue for investment in programs designed to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. In addition to the controversy about how to set up a cap-and-trade system, concerns have been raised that the allocation of the auction revenue doesn't correspond with the most effective strategies for reducing emissions.
An amendment by Senator Boxer includes a slight increase in funding for strategies to reduce vehicle miles traveled—though the funding still falls short of recognizing the proportional share the transportation sector contributes to greenhouse gas emissions. Most of the funding devoted to transportation-related emissions is geared toward fuel efficiency, instead of reducing the need to drive in the first place. The Boxer amendment increases funding for these efforts from roughly 1% of auction revenue to over 2.5% by primarily increasing funding for existing mass transit. It also includes funding for starting up new transit systems and a small amount for corresponding land use planning.
In addition, the funding is also spaced out over time, with more money for transit becoming available after 2022. But building an effective transit network and transforming adjacent land uses takes a long time—and is something that needs to begin right away.
Please consider contacting your senator to ask them to vote for the Lieberman-Warner Bill with the Boxer Amendment. Also urge them to increase the proportion of funding for transit and land-use planning that promotes walkable, compact development. Here’s a sample letter for your adaptation and check out senate.gov for your senator’s mailing address. Learn more about CNU's climate work here.
Congress for the New Urbanism