Wednesday, October 10, 2007

As anticipation builds on Senate climate bill, key health and environmental groups say it should include other power plant pollutants

Anticipation is building about next week’s expected formal introduction of the Lieberman-Warner climate bill (we are scouring the globe for intelligence about it, and may have more tomorrow), three key health and environmental groups are urging the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee to make sure that climate legislation incorporates pollution limits for other electric power plant emissions – sulfur dioxide, nitrogen oxides and mercury.

In a letter today to Senators Tom Carper (D-DE), Lamar Alexander (R-TN) and Bernard Sanders (I-VT) – who have all introduced multi-pollutant legislation in this Congress -- the American Lung Association, the Clean Air Task Force and the National Parks Conservation Association said “Addressing all four pollutants in your legislation will provide enormous benefits for the environment and for 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.”

The groups added that “Climate legislation alone will not necessarily result in reductions in power sector NOx, SO2, and mercury…If economy-wide legislation is enacted that reduces global warming emissions without addressing the electric utility sector’s other major pollutants, it may be invoked as a roadblock to prevent enactment of such legislation in the future.”

So things are going to get mighty interesting as the Senate panel tries to fast-track a climate bill before the United Nations climate change conference begins in Bali in early December.

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