U.S. efforts to reduce greenhouse gas emissions could be set back ten years if Congress fails to pass a climate change bill this year containing stringent Corporate Average Fuel Economy (CAFE) standards, Senator Dianne Feinstein (D-CA) predicted. In a keynote address October 11 to the Business Council for Sustainable Energy\u2019s Climate Change is Energy Policy Conference in San Francisco, Feinstein urged support for Senate Bill 367 that she co-sponsored with Senator Olympia Snowe (R-ME). The legislation--which the Senate passed last summer--would raise CAFE standards to 35 miles per gallon over 10 years and reduce CO2 emissions in the transportation sector 18 percent by 2025. Feinstein\u2019s bill has been added to the Democrats\u2019 energy bill. A conference committee is now attempting to reconcile it with the House energy bill, which does not contain any provisions for raising CAFE standards. \u201cThere is no silver bullet. We are a fossil fuel economy through and through. The world needs to break its addiction to oil and make a radical change toward renewable energy,\u201d Feinstein stressed. While calling for California\u2019s landmark global warming legislation, AB 32, to be enacted as a national standard, Feinstein urged business leaders not to wait for federal legislation. \u201cGo, go, go! Don\u2019t wait. California should move, and it will move other states behind us because the consumer market is so big.\u201d Feinstein called on Republican business leaders to \u201crise up\u201d and pressure their party to take action on global warming. Feinstein worked on legislation this year to reduce greenhouse gas emissions in the electricity sector in conjunction with the Clean Energy Group, a utility industry lobby headed by Peter Darbee, Pacific Gas & Electric chief executive officer. However, the conference committee will introduce a final energy bill that caps total emissions and not by sectors, she said. She implored the conference participants to \u201cpick up the telephone and call the conference committee\u201d and ask them to include her SB 367 in the energy bill. \u201cTo have a CAFE standard pass the most conservative body, the U.S. Senate, and lose it in conference would set back global warming efforts a decade,\u201d she warned. With the Arctic ice cap and Greenland\u2019s glaciers melting Feinstein painted a picture of urgency to prevent an unprecedented global catastrophe. \u201cTo stabilize climate we need an 80 percent reduction of greenhouse gas emissions by 2050,\u201d to contain rising temperatures to 1 to 2 degrees, she said. Senator Barbara Boxer\u2019s (D-CA) comprehensive global warming legislation seeks to achieve that goal by establishing a cap and trade system to roll back greenhouse gas emissions 80 percent from 1990 levels by 2050. By contrast, Senators John Warner (R-VA) and Joseph Lieberman (I-CT) are drafting more modest climate change legislation with a goal of reducing GHG emissions 70 percent below 2005 levels. \u201cIt may be the best the Senate can do. But the bill must cap emissions at a level sufficient to avoid dangerous climate change.\u201d Congress should enact global warming legislation that provides enough flexibility for agencies to implement it on their own and for scientists to design state-of-the art standards and architecture, she said. Comprehensive climate change legislation, she said, also must: -Ensure that the Environmental Protection Agency follows the best available science in adopting regulations to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. -Include cost containment measures, such as voluntary carbon sequestration, and enable farmers and foresters to sell carbon offsets from planting trees. -Link the U.S. carbon trading market with international markets to offset costs. -Allocate 80 percent of the proceeds from an auction of carbon credits to develop low-cost carbon-containing and clean technologies, including energy efficiency, renewables, and clean coal; 10 percent for wildlife preservation, and 10 percent for community projects. -Provide federal tax incentives to increase development of renewables, including solar, wind, and biodiesel. -Decrease the carbon content of fuels and promote use of low carbon fuels, including biodiesel, cellulosic ethanol, and hydrogen fuel cells; -Make energy efficiency the cornerstone of a national global warming policy, including green building codes and providing tax incentives for consumers and businesses to purchase Energy Star products. -Establish stringent market oversight to prevent the flagrant fraud and market manipulation that spurred California\u2019s energy crisis of 2000-2001. Feinstein praised Bay Area initiatives, including BP\u2019s $.5 billion investment in a biofuels research center at the University of California at Berkeley; Clipper Wind Power of Carpinteria\u2019s leading edge wind turbine technology; and SiliconValley-based Loom Energy\u2019s emerging fuel cell technology. \u201cConfronting global warming is not just good for the environment. There\u2019s a tremendous opportunity for economic growth. If we have a strength in this state it\u2019s on the cutting edge of new clean technology which can and should shape the future of America\u2019s economy.\u201d Feinstein\u2019s climate advisor John Watts predicted that Congress is unlikely to pass global warming legislation this year but will probably do so in the next session. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) views climate change as a flagship issue, which has led her to create a select committee on global warming and promote investment in renewables and energy efficiency, said Melanie Nutter, Pelosi\u2019s deputy district director in San Francisco. The House passed Pelosi\u2019s clean energy bill HR 3321 by a wide margin this summer. Several key provisions of the bill are not included in the Senate Energy bill, including enactment of a national renewable electricity standard of 15 percent by 2020. The House bill also would allocate $95 billion in renewable production tax credits for biodiesel, cellulosic ethanol, and other renewable fuels; energy efficiency measures that would save $300 billion through 2030; and federal training funds to create 3 million green jobs in 10 years. \u201cWe feel confident that Congress will finalize an energy bill this year. It\u2019s an important first step toward addressing climate change,\u201d Mutter said.