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5 Green Groups Declare Senate Climate Bill 'Unacceptable'

by Stacy Feldman

WASHINGTON - Five national environmental groups declared the stalled Senate climate and energy bill "unacceptable" on Tuesday, saying the nation would be better off in the long run without it.

The current form of the bill is "too high a price" and "the solution is a fake one," said Bill Snape, senior counsel at the Center for Biological Diversity, a member of the coalition of groups opposed to the bill.

The disagreement between that coalition, members of Congress and 31 other environmental groups that came out in support of legislation this week highlights the battles to come as Congress attempts to work out a compromise climate bill this year or next.

Among the coalition's biggest gripes is a provision that would jettison the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency's authority to regulate greenhouse gases under the Clean Air Act.

"Industry doesn't like the Clean Air Act because it actually reduces pollutants," said Snape.

The groups also objected to the bill's emissions reduction goals; the billions being thrown into cleaner coal and nuclear power; and language that would handicap the ability of states to curtail global warming pollution.

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