September 26, 2007

CARDIN CALLS GLOBAL WARMING A SERIOUS THREAT FACING THE BAY

O'Malley, Mikulski, Gilchrest Testify Before Senate Committee

WASHINGTON - U.S. Senator Benjamin L. Cardin, D-MD, today called global warming, "a threat to public safety, a threat to key Bay species such as blue crabs and rockfish, and a threat to the fragile lands that surround the Chesapeake."

 

Senator Cardin, a member of the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee (EPW), offered his perspective during a Senate hearing that also featured testimony from Maryland Gov. Martin O'Malley, D-MD, Virginia Gov. Tim Kaine, D-VA, U.S. Senators Barbara A. Mikulski, D-MD and Jim Webb, D-VA, and U.S. Rep. Wayne Gilchrest, R-MD.

 

"I share the concern of my colleagues from Maryland and Virginia about the threat we all face from global warming," said Senator Cardin.   "The entire Bay region is vulnerable to flooding and global warming is clearly a major factor in the rise of sea levels that we are seeing.   I believe global warming is a serious threat facing the entire Bay region."  

 

The Senator added:  "Today, we can clearly see the effects of global warming.   On the Eastern Shore, about a third of Blackwater Wildlife Refuge has been lost in the past 70 years and Smith Island has lost 30% of its land to rising sea levels since 1850."

 

According to the Maryland Emergency Management Agency (MEMA), Maryland is the third most vulnerable state to flooding.   "Global warming threatens all of us and it's time that we work together to develop effective solutions," said Senator Cardin.  

 

Senator Cardin has co-sponsored the Global Warming Pollution Reduction Act , S. 309, which would require U.S. emissions of key pollutants such as carbon dioxide to be capped in 2010, reduced to 1990 levels by 2020 and 80% below 1990 levels by 2050.   To achieve emissions reductions, the bill calls for more reliance on clean, renewable energy

 

The Senate Environment and Public Works Committee's hearing on threats global warming poses to the Chesapeake Bay also attracted testimony from Virginia Gov. Tim Kaine and scientists including Dr. Don Boesh, president of the University of Maryland's Center for Environmental Studies. Will Baker, President of the Chesapeake Bay Foundation, also testified before the Committee about the effects of global warming on the Bay.

 

"Reputable scientists agree that people, plants, and animals throughout the Chesapeake Bay area will almost certainly suffer from more pollution to the Bay, larger dead zones, and threats to low-lying areas from storms and flooding," Chesapeake Bay Foundation President William C. Baker said. "I appreciate the leadership of Senators Cardin, Mikulski, and Warner, and hope we will soon see legislation to dramatically limit the amount of greenhouse gases emitted into the atmosphere."