CARPER NAMED RANKING DEMOCRAT On Clean Air, Climate Change and Nuclear Safety Subcommittee
Carper-Chafee "Clean Air Planning Act" Will be a Focus
Washington, DC – Senator Tom Carper has a new position from which to combat global warming and push for the passage of his own Clean Air bill. Senate Environment and Public Works ranking member Jim Jeffords today named Carper the Ranking Democrat on the Clean Air, Climate Change and Nuclear Safety Subcommittee. “The decisions we make this session will define our nation’s environmental and economic agenda for decades to come. The Clean Air Subcommittee faces a busy year ahead, and I am committed to working with my colleagues to make progress on several fronts,” Carper said. The Subcommittee Chairman is Senator George Voinovich (R-OH), who was Carper’s colleague in the National Governors Association and shares his desire to move past partisan differences and get things done. Carper will work with Senators Jeffords, Lieberman, Reid and Clinton and Subcommittee Chair Voinovich to develop an environmental agenda for the future. Senator Carper expects clean air issues to get the full attention of the Congress and the President in the near-term. He looks forward to hearings early this year to examine the benefits of several comprehensive proposals to reduce harmful power plant emissions of SO2, NOx, Mercury, and CO2. Carper, along with Senators Chafee, Breaux, and Baucus introduced legislation last year to reduce these emissions. Similar legislation introduced by Senator Jeffords was approved by the full committee last year, but did not reach the Senate floor. The President’s Clear Skies plan, which is expected to be introduced by EPW Chairman Jim Inhofe, does not address CO2 emissions, which Senator Carper believes must be part of any legitimate proposal. “The need to address CO2 emissions, as well as NOx, SOx, and Mercury is clear, and I look forward to working with my colleagues to pass a strong 4P bill this year,” Carper said. The subcommittee’s clean air mandate gives Senator Carper another platform to raise concerns about companies like Motiva. The subcommittee will also be responsible for investigating the safety of the nation’s nuclear facilities. “Greater attention should be given to the safe operation of our nation’s nuclear facilities, as well as to the safe transport and storage of nuclear waste,” Carper said. “Senator Harry Reid and I have a shared concern regarding safety of nuclear facilities. I will work closely with him to examine the Yucca Mountain nuclear waste repository in Nevada as it moves forward.” Senator Carper will request hearings to examine the comprehensive global warming legislation introduced earlier this year by Senators Lieberman and McCain, S. 139. The threat of global warming to states such as Delaware is significant. Delaware’s coastline and climate may already be undergoing changes that are likely to accelerate dramatically in the decades ahead if steps are not taken soon to reduce the greenhouse gases in the atmosphere. As a member of the Senate Energy Committee last Congress, Senator Carper saw clearly that issues of energy and environment are closely linked. The Clean Air Subcommittee has an important role to play in highlighting the opportunities for clean energy that can not only protect the air we breathe and reduce our risk from global warming, but also help reduce our reliance on imported energy supplies. “I am more and more convinced that the hole in our planet’s ozone layer is real, that global warming and sea-level rise are happening, and the actions of humans are the primary cause of these threats. As Congress considers energy and environmental issues, I believe that we must work together to address these issues in ways that will create jobs, boost trade and leave our planet healthier for the generations that follow us,” Carper said. Since being sworn-in to the Senate two years ago, Carper has been appointed to the Senate Democratic Leadership as a member of its Executive Committee, named the Democratic Leadership Council’s Chairman for Best Practices, served as Co-Chairman of the Democratic Senate Campaign Committee’s Leadership Circle and pulled together meetings for recent Governors-become-Senators from both parties.