The Climate Stewardship Act

The Climate Stewardship Act (S.139), sponsored by Senators John McCain (R-Ariz.) and Joseph Lieberman (D-Conn.), was voted on by the U.S. Senate on October 30, 2003.  Although the bill did not pass, 44 Senators support the legislation, which would for the first time control U.S. emissions of the heat trapping gases that cause global warming.  The sponsors have committed to fight to bring the bill back up for a vote in the Senate in 2004 and as many times as needed until it passes.  A companion bill was introduced in the House by Representatives Gilchrest and Olver on March 30, 2004.  This website includes links to useful resources about the bill.

Summary of the Legislation:


A section-by-section summary of the Climate Stewardship Act as amended and voted on in October 2003 is available from the sponsors: Section-by Section Summary  

A summary of the legislation by the Pew Center on Global Climate Change: Legislation Summary


A summary of the House version by the Pew Center on Global Climate Change: Legislation Summary

Fact sheet on the House version of the bill: Fact Sheet

Remarks by Representative Olver upon introduction of the House version of the bill: Olver Remarks


10 Reasons to Support the Climate Stewardship Act

1)       The Scientific Consensus is Compelling

2)       Global Warming Threatens Public Health and the Environment

3)       Americans Overwhelmingly Support the Act – According to a national Zogby poll (10/03) [Poll Results (pdf)]:

4)       U.S. Climate Leadership Creates Jobs & Strengthens the Economy – The U.S. has the technology and know-how to lead the world in environmental solutions while creating good-paying jobs here at home and strengthening America's economy.  

5)       Bipartisan Effort to Find Common Ground –  Forty-four Senators – including Sen. Lugar of Indiana, Sen. McCain of Arizona, and four other Republicans – have supported the compromise version of the Act voted on by the Senate, which calls only for emissions to return to year 2000 levels by 2010.  [2003 Vote (pdf)]

6)       Modest Plan Protects Consumers, Reduces Natural Gas Prices – The flexible structure of the bill actually allows emissions to increase above 2000 levels if industry chooses to buy inexpensive “offsets” from farmers and others.  According to an economic analysis by MIT [Full Report (pdf)] | [Report Summary (.doc)] , the Act as voted upon would:

7)       The “Voluntary” Approach Doesn’t Work

8)       Broad Coalition of Support for Action – Those recently calling on Congress to take action include:

9)       Farmers & Ranchers Support the Act – The National Farmers Union supports the Act, which creates a new source of income for farmers through a carbon “sequestration” market that rewards environmentally beneficial farming, ranching, and forestry.  The Act includes additional incentives for biofuels and wind power.  Farms and ranches are exempt from emissions control requirements under the Act. [Letter (.doc)]

10)  Opportunity to Reclaim U.S. Role as Environmental Leader – Action on global warming will not only create jobs and begin to safeguard the environment, but also improve relations with Britain and other global allies that are taking more aggressive action.  The European Union has already established an emissions trading program. [EU Testimony (webcast)]

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Additional Resources

Editorials in Support of the Legislation: 

Senators McCain and Lieberman wrote an Op-Ed that was published in the San Francisco Chronicle on August 1, 2003: Climate Change and Federal Policy: A Response to Inaction on Global Warming

The Editorials that have been written by newspapers around the country in support of the legislation have been compiled by NET: Editorials Supporting the McCain Lieberman Climate Bill (January 2003-January 2004) (.doc)

The Chicago Tribune wrote an editorial on January 2nd, 2004: A Missed Chance on Warming (.doc)

Fact Sheets and Action Alerts:

The following USCAN member organizations have Fact Sheets for further information and Action Alerts that provide an easy way to let your senators know that you support this important first step to stop global warming:

Compilation of USCAN member action alerts: USCAN action alerts

National Environmental Trust Fact Sheets: 

Facts About the Climate Stewardship Act

Ignoring Climate Change Poses Hige Financial Risks

The Climate Stewardship Act: Benefits to the Agricultural Sector

State and Local Leaders are Taking Action to Reduce Global Warming Pollution

Corporate Leaders are Already Reducing Global Warming Pollution

Latest Scientific Findings Show Global Warming is already Causing Serious Damage

Global Warming: The Science is Settled

Natural Resources Defense Council: 

The Climate Stewardship Act and the Agriculture Sector

Agriculture Communities and the Climate Stewardship Act

Agriculture and the Limit on Offsets on S139

Environmental Defense:

The Heat Is On: A White Paper on Climate Action, Environmental Defense, June 2004

Sign the global warming petition to become a Citizen Co-Sponsor of the CSA: Sign the Petition 
Thank your Senator for a Yes Vote on the CSA or Ask why your Senator voted No.  

National Wildlife Federation: 
Thank those Senators who voted for the CSA in October: A Climate Change Thank You  
Download fact sheets: The Climate Stewardship Act: A National Plan to Begin Solving Global Warming
                                  Anglers for Climate Solutions: The McCain-Lieberman Global Warming Plan Protects America's Top Fishing Holes

Economic and Policy Analyses:

Several Economic and Policy Analyses have been performed outlining the impact that the Climate Stewardship Act would have on the U.S. economy and American citizens.  The reports, linked to below, predict sharply lower costs than forecast by the Energy Information Administration, finding that major cuts in global warming pollution can be achieved at significant cost savings to American consumers. 

MIT Joint Program on Science and Policy of Global Change: Emissions Trading to Reduce Greenhouse Gas Emissions in the United States: The McCain Lieberman Proposal

Tellus Institute:  

Analysis of the Climate Stewardship Act 2004 Update (pdf)

NRDC Fact Sheet (doc)

Analysis of the Climate Stewardship Act 2003 (pdf)

Pew Center on Global Climate Change: 
Pew Center Assessment of Charles River Associates' Analysis, June 2004

Pew Center Assessment of new EIA Analysis of CSA, June 2004

Fact Sheet on MIT Cost Estimates of S.139 (as offered in 10/03)

Assessment of the EIA Analysis of the Climate Stewardship Act

Stephen J. DeCanio, University of California, Santa Barbara:

Rebuttal of Charles River Associates Analysis

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Additional Indications of Support: 

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State-Specific Resources: 

UCS Regional Impacts and Solutions Reports: 

UCS Renewable Energy Factsheets: 

PIRG Renewable Energy and Jobs Reports: 

Arkansas Articles:

Louisiana McCain Lieberman Letters and Articles:

Montana McCain Lieberman Letters and Articles

Oregon McCain Lieberman Letters and Articles: 

Pennsylvania McCain Lieberman Letters and Articles:

Tennessee McCain Lieberman Letters and Articles: 

West Virginia Letters and Articles: 

For greater intellectual or action involvement please go to: