Democratic Hopefuls Sign on to Global Warming Bill

By Nathan Burchfiel | July 7, 2008 | 8:32 PM EDT

( - Two of the frontrunners for the 2008 Democratic presidential nomination this week agreed to co-sponsor legislation aimed at curbing global warming by putting caps on carbon emissions.

Sen. Barbara Boxer, chairman of the Environment and Public Works Committee, announced Tuesday that Sens. Hillary Clinton of New York and Barack Obama of Illinois are co-sponsoring the Global Warming Pollution Reduction Act.

Clinton and Obama lead the pack of contenders for the Democratic nomination, based on recent polls. Other current senators seeking the nomination, Sens. Joseph Biden of Delaware and Christopher Dodd of Connecticut, also support the bill.

The bill crafted by Vermont Independent Sen. Bernie Sanders would set carbon emission standards for electricity plants, establish a carbon credit trading program, and set carbon emission standards for automobiles beginning in 2016.

The bill includes a provision requiring the president to create a task force on international clean, low carbon energy cooperation, which would develop ways to implement low-emission technology in developing countries.

It also expresses the "sense of the Senate that federal funds for clean, low-carbon energy research, development, and deployment should be increased by at least 100 percent each year" for 10 years.

As Cybercast News Service previously reported, Boxer has pledged to push a "global warming" bill to the full Senate as soon as she has enough votes to move it out of committee, regardless of whether it could withstand a Republican filibuster or presidential veto.

"Public support for swift act on global warming is growing," Boxer said in announcing the increased support for the bill, "and more and more senators are joining the call for strong, mandatory action to control greenhouse gas emissions."

Boxer called the bill a "'gold standard' because it would set us on a path to the emissions reductions the scientists tell us are necessary to stabilize the planet's climate," which is to reduce emissions to 80 percent below 1990 levels by 2050.

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