Write Your Senator Today on the Lieberman-Warner Bill!

norabeck's picture

As the senate continues debate on the Lieberman-Warner Bill today, please consider sending a message to your Senator in support of the bill, but 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 contact information. Learn more about CNU's climate work here.

The Lieberman-Warner Bill facing a vote in the Senate this week proposes to establish a cap-and-trade system on carbon emissions. 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.

Comments

Thank You!

To all of our members who responded to our call for action -- thank you! Looking at our web statistics, we've received a really great response on this. Keep it coming this afternoon, and we'll follow up with you later to let you know the outcome.

norabeck's picture

Lieberman-Warner Bill fails passage

The votes were not there in the senate, so the Lieberman-Warner Bill didn't pass. For a summary of the discussion, check out Kate Sheppard's piece on Grist, An inhospitable climate: Climate Security Act dies, failing to muster enough votes to move forward.

Thanks to all who contacted their senators, we'll keep you posted on future opportunities.

paytonc's picture

Dear Colleague,

Over in the House, many Representatives have signed on to a new letter, from Reps. Earl Blumenauer and Ellen Tauscher to House speaker Nancy Pelosi, that calls for federal climate legislation to increase funding for public transit, biking, public transportation, and walkable neighborhoods.

With their urging, we can make sure that whatever climate legislation that does make it through Congress (whether it's Lieberman-Warner or another bill) helps to fulfill America's demand for better, wider transportation choices.

You can urge your Congress member to sign on to this "Dear Colleague letter" using Smart Growth America's handy form

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