Carper to Chair Clean Air Subcommittee in the Next Congress

Carper Will Focus on Strengthening Protections Against Mercury, Air Pollutants

WASHINGTON (Nov. 16, 2006) – Sen. Tom Carper, D-Del., will play a leading role in shaping legislation to combat air pollution in the 110th Congress, taking over as chairman of the Clean Air, Nuclear Plant Security and Community Development Subcommittee in the Senate. Sen. Barbara Boxer, D-Calif., incoming-chairwoman of the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee, announced the leaders of the panels’ various subcommittees today. For the past four years, Carper has served as the senior Democrat on the subcommittee with responsibility over clean air issues. As chairman of the clean air panel, Carper is set to renew his fight for strong clean air legislation. In this Congress, he cosponsored legislation entitled the Clean Air Planning Act, which would reduce power plant emissions of mercury, nitrogen oxide, and sulfur dioxide, while taking the first steps toward combating global warming through mandatory but sensible carbon dioxide controls. His latest bill had support of both utility and environmental groups, as well as a bipartisan coalition of senators. For the past six years, new clean air legislation has been stymied by the Bush administration, which has supported a weaker clean air bill known as “Clear Skies.” Carper has been a vocal critic of the administration’s approach, which he said doesn’t go “far enough, fast enough.” Carper said he is hopeful that a new Congress and a Democratic-led committee will be able to reach consensus on clean air legislation this year. “We’ve made a lot of progress over the past decade on clean air, but our work isn’t done,” said Carper. “We have the technology to make significant but cost-effective reductions in the amount of pollution we send into the atmosphere. It’s time we put aside the differences we’ve had over the past few years and work together – Democrat and Republican – to deliver strong and sensible clean air legislation that will protect public health and address the problem of global warming,” said Carper. In addition to having jurisdiction over the Clean Air Act, Carper’s subcommittee will have jurisdiction over indoor air pollution, nuclear plant security, and the Economic Development Administration.