The Senate Committee on Environment and Public Works kicked off hearings on climate change legislation today. The Clean Energy Jobs & American Power Act was introduced by Sen. Barbara Boxer (D-Calif.) and Sen. John Kerry (D-Mass) last month.
The following statement is by Trip Van Noppen, president of Earthjustice:
“Momentum is building toward a transformational shift to a clean energy economy that doesn’t rely on burning fossil fuels that are primarily responsible for global warming. If we seize this moment, we will secure jobs here in the U.S. and fight global warming at the same time.
“But to succeed, we must use all the tools available. We applaud Senators Kerry and Boxer for building upon the Clean Air Act which has a proven track record of reducing pollution from the dirtiest sources. The Clean Air Act has successfully protected the public and the environment from mercury poisoning and acid rain, and is currently poised to reduce climate pollution from mobile sources that account for up to 4% of U.S. emissions.
“Coal companies and other special interests are attempting to derail this legislation — and keep us hooked on fossil fuels as our main source of energy. The Senate needs to follow Senators Kerry and Boxer’s lead and use tools available in the Clean Air Act to make the U.S. a clean energy leader.
“The Kerry-Boxer bill also underscores the importance of having dedicated funding for natural resources adaptation, an improvement to the House-passed bill where funds for federal land managers were subject to appropriations. However, we hope the Senate will increase the overall funding as it is crucial that we help the very ecosystems that support our nation’s fish and wildlife and provide us with clean water, face the challenges of climate change.
“We call upon the Senate to put the needs of the entire nation first and act swiftly to combat global warming and usher in an era of clean renewable energy. The world cannot wait.”