WASHINGTON – U.S. Senator Ben Cardin (D-Md.), a senior member of the Environment and Public Works Committee, released the following statement on S.2911, the “Super Pollutants Act of 2014,” which was considered at an EPW committee hearing today.
“Climate change is real, and it is a threat whose magnitude is impossible to overstate. The Super Pollutants Act of 2014 is a rare example of bipartisan action to address some of the most intense greenhouse gases, like black carbon, methane and hydro fluorocarbons. These super pollutants contribute a more intense greenhouse effect, per weight, than carbon dioxide. Because they warm the climate at a rate thousands of times greater than carbon dioxide, measured reductions in super pollutants could provide immediate relief from extreme climate-related impacts.
“Senators Murphy (D-CT) and Collins (R-ME) are working across the aisle by sponsoring legislation that takes several important steps forward to address super pollutants. By establishing an interagency task force on climate pollutant mitigation that includes all relevant parties, we can begin to identify and recommend the most effective strategies to reduce these seriously harmful pollutants. By directing the development of comprehensive plans to address black carbon emissions from an array of sectors both domestically and internationally, the bill would improve air quality and public health. It also would urge the EPA to extend the Clean Air Act to increase initiatives for recycling hydro fluorocarbons, work with the Department of Energy to promote energy-efficient refrigerants, and phase out the sale of residential equipment that uses climate-damaging compounds. The bill also would mandate that the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission analyzes methane leaks and venting from coal mining, gas drilling and other heavily polluting practices, and would direct multiple federal agencies and departments to issue guidance to other countries on controlling these types of emissions. Together, these measures could begin to reduce the releases of super pollutants and stem the impacts of climate change.
“I am thankful to Senators Chris Murphy and Susan Collins for their commitment to bipartisan action, and I urge my colleagues to join in supporting this consequential legislation.”