Sen. Carper Says Lieberman-Warner Bill A Good Start, But Concerned Other Dangerous Pollutants Go Unaddressed in Global Warming Bill
Global warming legislation introduced today by Sens. Joe Lieberman (I-Conn.) and John Warner (R-Va.) signals a good start, but it should also address other dangerous emissions from power plants, said Sen. Tom Carper (D-Del.), chairman of the Senate Clean Air and Nuclear Safety subcommittee.
Sen. Carper, a long-time advocate for economy-wide climate change legislation, introduced his own legislation earlier this year to address emissions of three other dangerous pollutants from the power sector.
Sen. Carper’s Clean Air Planning Act (CAPA), in addition to reducing power plants’ CO2 emissions, also requires power plants to reduce NOx emissions collectively by 68 percent by 2015 (1.6 million ton cap), cut SO2 emissions by 82 percent by 2015 (2 million ton cap), and requires each facility to reduce its mercury emissions by 90 percent.
“I commend Sens. Lieberman and Warner for their determination to pass sweeping global warming legislation to confront this urgent environmental issue,” Sen. Carper said. “But even Al Gore has supported our multi-pollutant solution, testifying before the Environment and Public Works Committee this year that ‘a so called four pollutant approach is obviously the most efficient.’”
Sen. Carper stressed that he and his nine, bipartisan CAPA cosponsors have asked Sens. Lieberman and John Warner to address all the major pollutants from power plants in their larger global warming legislation.
“I’m not sure how many people die each year from climate change. But we do know that fine particle pollution from U.S. power plants kills nearly 24,000 people a year, and 630,00 babies are born each year at risk of neurological damage from dangerous exposure to mercury levels in the womb,” Sen. Carper said. “It makes good sense to address these other pollutants as we tackle global warming. We have a rare opportunity to protect public health and give the power sector a regulatory framework to make good business decisions in the future.”
Sen. Carper’s CAPA legislation is cosponsored by Sens. Joe Biden (D-Del.), Bob Casey (D-Pa.), Susan Collins (R-Maine), Chris Dodd (D-Conn.), Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.), Judd Gregg (R-N.H.), Joe Lieberman (I-Conn.), Blanche Lincoln (D-Ark.), Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) and John Sununu (R-N.H.).
Several energy companies – know as the Clean Energy Group – endorsed the CAPA bill, saying it would “stimulate investment in power plant efficiency and drive technological innovation,” and move “our industry to one that is less carbon intensive, reduce our overall emissions footprint, and improve our energy security.”
Earlier this month, in a letter supporting Sen. Carper’s efforts to get CAPA included in the Lieberman-Warner bill, the American Lung Association, Clean Air Task Force and the National Parks Conservation said: “Addressing all four pollutants in your legislation will provide enormous benefits for the environment and public health. It will also provide clarity to the power sector to help drive cost-effective ways of meeting its obligations to address climate change and protect public health and the environment simultaneously.”