The Progressive


A project of Common Dreams

For Immediate Release

Stephen Kent,
James Handley,  


Capitol Hill Expert Briefing on Enacting Effective Climate Policy


A Hill briefing on carbon tax with newsmakers and experts will take place next week in advance of the Senate debate on Waxman-Markey.

WHAT? An expert briefing on Capitol Hill for members of Congress and
their staffs, NGOs, and journalists on enacting meaningful climate
legislation in the wake of a narrow plurality for the Waxman-Markey
cap-and-trade bill in the House and uncertain prospects for it in the
Senate. Briefers will address the science, economics and politics of
how we get from the currently divided House and compromised bill to a
better architecture and brighter prospects for legislation that can
gather wide support and actually be effective in preventing
catastrophic climate change.

WHO? Speakers and presenters will include:

* Dr. James Hansen, NASA lead climate scientist, speaking on the
science of climate change and the urgency of enacting better climate

* Dr. Robert Shapiro, economist and former Undersecretary of
Commerce during the Clinton administration, on the politics
andeconomics of cap-and-trade and how direct pricing of carbon can
avoid the volatility and gaming while driving innovation and

* Cecil Corbin-Mark, policy director of WeACT for Environmental
Justice, based in West Harlem, New York City, on how a direct carbon
fee approach can help our communities and gain popular support for
building the green economy on a platform of economic justice.

* Professor Janet Milne of Vermont Law School, on the recent
Canadian experience with carbon pricing. British Columbia enacted an
effective and politically viable carbon tax, after which incumbents
were reelected.

* Moderator: Brent Blackwelder, president, Friends of the Earth

WHEN? Monday, July 13, 1pm

WHERE? Room 208/209, Capitol Visitors Center, 100 E Capitol St NE,
Washington, DC

WHY? The overwhelming consensus among climate scientists is that we
must act boldly to reduce global emissions of greenhouse gases,
primarily from fossil fuel burning. The overwhelming consensus among
economists is that carbon pricing is the most powerful tool
toaccomplish this. A direct carbon pricing approach has the potential
to gain bipartisan support as the most effective, fairest and most
easily implemented way for the U.S. to lead the world into a
low-carbon economy without massive bureaucracy, huge unregulated
markets or the gaming and fraud that plague cap/trade systems.

RSVPs are welcome, and in some case required to enter the Capitol
Visitors Center. Journalists and members of Congress and their staffs
can simply cometo the briefing but should bring their credentials with
them. Other invitees should RSVP in advance. If you plan to attend,
please contact James Handley, or 202-546-5692.