Tell your senators you expect better! The new Congress is trying to pass the buck on global warming and we can't let them. As currently written, legislation coming to the floor in the Senate and developing in the House not only comes up short, it will likely take us backwards. Sens. Jeff Bingaman (D-NM) and Pete Domenici (R-NM) moved a misguided biofuels bill out of their committee to form the basis of the major Democratic energy package in the Senate. Under pressure from industry, this Senate package is getting worse.

Fuel Efficiency Standards: Though better than nothing, the Senate bill sets a weak car and light-truck fuel economy standard for the year 2020 -- only 35mpg. But thanks to big loopholes, even this less-than-ambitious standard will be easy to duck. (The Democrats' House bill contains standards weaker than those in proposals President Bush has advanced! More on this in alerts to come.)

Stripping EPA's Power to Regulate: Stunningly, the current Senate legislation would, in effect, overturn April's landmark Supreme Court ruling by stripping the EPA of powers to regulate greenhouse gas emissions from cars and trucks! While the Bush administration's EPA is no model of environmental protection, why on Earth would Democrats seek to hobble the next president's ability to limit global warming emissions from vehicles?

Coal to Liquid: A group of Democratic senators from coal-producing states are pushing an amendment to the bill that would encourage "liquid coal" technology. If adopted, this would turn bad legislation into an ecological nightmare. Leaving aside the environmental damage done by getting coal out of the ground, the process of creating and burning liquid coal fuel in our vehicles would result in more than double the greenhouse gas emissions from old fashion gasoline!

Our planet is already changing. In areas around the world, global warming is producing longer droughts, changing river patters, stronger storms, erratic growing seasons, and on, and on. If this new Congress is permitted to pass the buck on to next generations in return for short-term political gain, we are in real trouble.

We must take on congressional timidity - and the Senate is where we need to start:

Tell the Senate that its current legislation fails the public and must change.

Write now - spread the word - and keep the pressure on.