Press Releases

Sen. Carper's Bipartisan Bill To Cut Black Carbon Passes EPW Cmte.

Legislation Directs the EPA to Conduct a Comprehensive Study on Black Carbon Emissions to Improve Worldwide Public Health and Reduce Global Warming

May 14 2009

WASHINGTON – Sen. Tom Carper (D-Del) announced today that a key Senate committee has approved his bipartisan legislation directing the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to study the environmental impact of black carbon and the most cost-effective ways to reduce its emissions to improve public health and reduce global warming.

The bill (S. 849) passed the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee today by unanimous consent.

“My black carbon legislation overcame a major legislative hurdle today, and I am confident we can win the votes to get this through the Congress and signed into law this year,” said Sen. Carper. “The information gathered from this study will help us to use our resources wisely to reduce black carbon emissions at home and abroad. This legislation represents one of many steps we are taking in Congress to reduce harmful air pollution that makes global warming worse and makes hundreds of Americans sick each year.”

Black carbon – a dangerous pollutant emitted by old, dirty diesel engines like those in some school buses – is thought to be the second largest contributor to global warming after carbon dioxide.

This bipartisan bill, cosponsored by Sens. Jim Inhofe (R-Okla.), Barbara Boxer (D-Calif.), John Kerry (D-Mass.), Susan Collins (R-Maine), Jeff Merkley (D-Ore.), George Voinovich (R-Ohio) and Amy Klobuchar (D-Minn.) directs the EPA to do a four-phase study that 1) develops a universal definition of black carbon; 2) identifies global black carbon sources and reduction technologies; 3) identifies current and possible international funding opportunities to mitigate black carbon emissions; and 4) identifies opportunities for future research and development.

Under this legislation, the black carbon study would be due to the Congress one year after the law is enacted.