31
Mrz
2004

BIPARTISAN HOUSE BILL TAKES AIM AT GLOBAL WARMING

Environment News Service
March 31, 2004

http://www.climateark.org/articles/reader.asp?linkid=30615

WASHINGTON, DC. - A bipartisan coalition of 20 U.S. Representatives introduced Tuesday a companion bill to Senator John McCain and Joe Lieberman's Climate Stewardship Act. The bill, cosponsored by Maryland Republican Wayne Gilchrest and Massachusetts Democrat John Olver, would require some sectors of the U.S. economy to enact mandatory reductions of carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions -- the leading greenhouse gas.

The bill would set a nationwide cap on industrial emissions of C02 and reduce those emissions down to 2000 levels by 2010 through an emissions trading system.

It does not address the C02 emissions from the nation's automobiles, which represent some 20 percent of the U.S. total.

With roughly four percent of the world's population, United States is responsible for more than 25 percent of global greenhouse gas emissions.

Higher temperatures caused by the increased levels of greenhouse gases are expected to result in rising sea levels, the melting of the polar ice caps, erratic and severe weather patterns, northward migration of tropical diseases and a host of other environmental problems that could have far reaching impacts.

Environmentalists praised the move, even though the legislation has little chance of passing the House of Representatives.

"The announcement of House legislation to limit heat-trapping carbon dioxide pollution reflects building momentum in the United States for responsible action to address global warming," said Brooks Yeager of the World Wildlife Fund.

McCain, an Arizona Republican, and Lieberman, a Connecticut Democrat, have reintroduced the bill in the Senate. It was defeated in the Senate last October by a vote of 53 to 44, but supporters of the legislation said the vote was a watershed moment in the U.S. debate over the issue of global warming.

It was the first action on the issue by the Senate in six years.

At a hearing on the bill earlier this month, McCain described the legislation as "an incredibly modest proposal. But," he said, "we need a beginning."


Informant: NHNE
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