FOR RELEASE: Mar. 2, 2011
CONTACT: Emily Spain (202) 224-2441
COMMITTEE ON ENVIRONMENT AND PUBLIC WORKS
HEARING: “Environmental Protection Agency’s FY2012 Proposed Budget”
Statement of Senator Thomas R. Carper
“I support the investments made in the President’s budget to promote cleaner air, healthier communities and healthier schools for our children and grandchildren. As we have seen in recent EPA reports, investments in cleaning up our air saves thousands of lives and trillions of dollars in health care costs. However, I was deeply disappointed to see funding eliminated for one of EPA’s most successful programs, the life-saving Diesel Emissions Reduction Act (DERA). This recently reauthorized program is a bipartisan, common-sense approach to cutting toxic diesel emissions that threaten the lives of our communities and our children.
“Every day, millions of children ride a school bus to school – and many of those buses have dirty diesel engines. Meaning every day, our children are exposed to toxic fumes that contribute to serious respiratory and cardiovascular problems, even death. Diesel emissions are also a potent global warming agent - reducing diesel emissions may be one of the most significant actions we can take in the short term to address global warming.
“Clean diesel engines made today are reaching near zero emissions, but that does nothing for the millions of engines already in use and will be in use for the next 20 years. By retrofitting or replacing dirty diesel engines – like those on the school buses that take our children to school every day – the Diesel Emissions Reduction Act saves lives and creates a demand for clean diesel technology, which in turn creates American jobs.
“While I understand that the President's budget requires many unpopular, tough cuts, I do not understand cutting DERA, which has shown a consistent high return on its investment, for every $1 invested, we get over $13 in health and economic benefits in return. Funding DERA is a no brainer and I will work with the Administration and my colleagues to find ways to fund this effective program.”