Partner Blog Post

Forget Humpty-Dumpty, Move Forward with CLEAR Bill

Rabbi Arthur Waskow and the Shalom Center recently announced their support of the CLEAR Act. Here’s a piece he recently wrote about the legislation:

Even if Senators Kerry and Lieberman can put Humpty-Dumpty back together again after losing Senator Graham’s support for what used to be the KGL (Kugel) bill for climate control, far better is the CLEAR bill introduced by Senators Maria Cantwell (Democrat) of Washington State and Susan Collins (Republican) of Maine. It is often named “cap and dividend” because it prevents any Wall Street trades in carbon credits, and returns 75% of the money gathered from auctioning rights to emit CO2 to the American people: dividends of about $1,000 a year to every legal resident of the US. The other 25% will go to research on renewable energy sources.

It is now the only climate bill with bipartisan support, and could attract grassroots support because it gives most of the money to the people, not big corporations or the government.

Those dividends to the people will offset the cost of higher fuel prices for the poor and the middle class, and will build a Main Street rather than Wall Street political constituency for CO2 controls. CLEAR — 40 pages long — is indeed far clearer and more transparent than the Kugel bill — hundreds of pages. It does not tie the hands of EPA from further limiting CO2 emissions, as the Kugel bill was ready to do.

As for off-shore oil drilling, the most recent Gulf Coast oil-pollution disaster shows again how destructive was the Obama Administration’s pre-emptive surrender to Big Oil in order to buy support for the Kugel bill. Any organization that thinks off-shore drilling will make American independent of foreign oil has been counting ostriches in the bush, not real birds in the hand. Offshore wells will contribute almost nothing to energy
independence as compared with the same investment in solar and wind energy.

The Alliance for Jewish Renewal has joined The Shalom Center in support of the Cantwell-Collins CLEAR Bill. The Shalom Center urges that others in the Jewish community and the Senate move forward with the CLEAR bill and let Humpty-Dumpty stay fallen at the foot of its wall.