Global warming gas reductions would have to be doubled if the pending federal climate change bill is postponed, warned witnesses during a November 15 U.S. Senate Environment and Public Works Committee hearing. \u201cThe problem is getting worse everyday and to put off addressing it will make it harder and more costly,\u201d said Senator Joe Lieberman (I-CT), co-author of the bill to reduce carbon emissions, during the final hearing on S 2191 prior to mark up. \u201cWe have a moral and practical responsibility to avert a problem that could be a disaster for our grandchildren,\u201d he added. If the bill passes this session, annual greenhouse gas emissions reductions must be cut 2 percent a year beginning in 2012 to reach the legislation\u2019s 15 percent reduction target by 2020, according to Fred Krupp, Environmental Defense executive director. Waiting another two years for enactment will require annual carbon emission cuts of 4.3 percent, Krupp warned. \u201cThe sooner we send a signal to the power sector and financial sector the better,\u201d added Lieberman. Midwestern lawmakers continued to spar with the \u201cblue state\u201d senators during the November 15 hearing as well as one held November 13 over the bill\u2019s costs and economic impacts, particularly to coal producing regions. Placing a mandatory cap on carbon will give China and India, which are heavily dependent on coal, an international economic leg up because S 2191 will drive up the price of power, insisted Senator John Barraso (R-WY). He added that passing the bill would sacrifice U.S. leverage on damping down emissions across the globe. \u201cWe are staring down the barrel of a gun--a double barreled one--our competitive position in the global market place and the other climate change,\u201d claimed Senator George Voinovich (R-OH). Krupp countered that the quicker the U.S. enacts mandatory climate change legislation \u201cthe faster China will act.\u201d Bill opponents urged that S 2191\u2019s passage be postponed to allow more time to study its impacts on the jobs and the economy. Midwestern senators asserted the way to achieve carbon reductions is through developing clean technology and not a legislative mandate. \u201cThe worst thing we can do for the economy is not to act. The second worst thing we can do is delay,\u201d responded Krupp. Other senators worried that the so-called Climate Change Security Act of 2007, also co-authored by John Warner (R-VA), would hurt blue collar workers and manufacturing because it would require carbon reductions, as well as trading in credits. Coal state lawmakers fear the bill would stop coal plant development by requiring carbon sequestration. Committee Chair Barbara Boxer (D-CA) and other blue state senators maintain that the bill would create jobs rather than destroy them. \u201cAll this doom and gloom is belied by facts. Great Britain reduced its carbon by 15 percent and increased its economy,\u201d retorted Boxer during a November 13 committee hearing. One issue became clear, however. A cap-and-trade system for greenhouse gases is in and a tax on carbon is out. \u201cA carbon tax is dead on arrival,\u201d said Boxer at the November 13 hearing, because it would harm low-income citizens. In an unusual twist during the November 15 hearing, Boxer called for market-based carbon reductions, while Senator James Inohfe (R-OK) asserted a carbon tax is the way to go. \u201cIt is a more honest approach,\u201d he said. Kevin Book, an energy analyst with FBR Capitol, noted that a carbon tax is less complicated, has lower administrative costs, and would achieve larger global warming cuts. He acknowledged that low-income people would be hit harder by a tax because they generally commute farther to their jobs and live in areas fueled by coal-fired power plants.