Carper- Chafee -Breaux-Baucus Offer
WASHINGTON, DC – Senators Tom Carper (D-DE), Lincoln Chafee (R- RI), John Breaux (D- LA) and Max Baucus (D- MT) introduced a “four pollutant” bill today called the Clean Air Planning Act of 2002 (CAP 2002). The legislation sets national caps on emissions from electric power plants- including carbon dioxide, and provides a better alternative to existing Clean Air proposals because it cleans up emissions without impeding economic growth, Carper said. The bipartisan centrist coalition is committed to reintroducing the legislation when Congress returns next January, and working toward its passage. “With this bill we are helping to break the logjam that has prevented us from getting a Clean Air Bill,” Senator Tom Carper said. “We have a bipartisan approach supported by environmentalists and industry that gives us an excellent chance of getting something enacted next year” CAP 2002 sets national emission caps on sulfur dioxide (SO2) -a major contributor to acid rain; nitrogen oxides (NOx) which contribute to smog; carbon dioxide (CO2) – the leading cause of global warming; and mercury emissions. Senator Carper expects this legislation will produce significant environmental and health benefits by reducing these four emissions from electrical generators and provide needed regulatory reform to encourage emission reductions. “Today, America’s power plants will emit over six million tons of harmful emissions. They will also power the world’s most productive economy,” said Carper. “Reducing emissions while retaining affordable, reliable electricity is our goal in developing the Clean Air Planning Act, and I look forward to working with my colleagues to build consensus on this issue in the months ahead and sending a strong bill to the President.” CAP 2002 focuses on developing market based mechanisms to reduce emissions from greenhouse gases that contribute to climate change in ways that won’t impede economic growth. Aggressive caps on sulfur dioxide, nitrogen oxides and mercury are implemented in phases, allowing adequate time to meet them and avoiding unnecessary shifts in fuels and electricity prices. Carper is a member of the U.S. Senate Environment and Public Works Committee and also the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee, and has worked successfully with members of both parties to pass legislation that provides regulatory support for combined heat-and-power plants and supports alternative energy sources.