Tuesday, March 02, 2010

Chad Tolman: Carper Backs Up EPA on Emissions

As I noted yesterday, Dr. Chad Tolman had this op-ed published in Saturday's News Journal. Dr. Tolman and I will speak tomorrow night at the Green Matters program at the United Universalist Fellowship of Newark.
Carper backs up EPA on emissions
DELAWARE VOICE • By CHAD TOLMAN • February 27, 2010
In Delaware's amicus curiae in support of Massachusetts, filed in August 2006 in the Supreme Court case of Massachusetts v. the Environmental Protection Agency, then Attorney General Carl Danberg wrote, "The State of Delaware is greatly concerned about the impact of global warming on its citizens. As a low-lying coastal state, Delaware experiences daily the effects of global warming. These effects include increased flooding and coastal erosion, increased ocean temperature, and heightened damage to the environment, the property and the people of Delaware."
In April 2007, the Supreme Court ruled that greenhouse gases (GHGs) can be considered air pollutants under the Clean Air Act, and it ordered EPA to determine whether GHG emissions may reasonably be anticipated to endanger public health or welfare. Last December, after a 60-day comment period -- in which over 300,000 comments were received and two public hearings were held -- the EPA issued an endangerment finding under the Clean Air Act that GHGs in the atmosphere endanger both public health and the environment for current and future generations. (See http://www.epa.gov/climatechange/endangerment.html)
Now Sen. Lisa Murkowski, R-Alaska, is trying to overturn the endangerment finding and strip the EPA of its authority to regulate GHG emissions, to the detriment of Delaware and other low-lying coastal states.
Because of our low average elevation (60 feet, the lowest of any state) Delaware is especially vulnerable to sea-level rise, one of the consequences of global warming caused by burning fossil fuels.
Since we don't have the oil and gas that Alaska does, we have more to lose from unbridled GHG emissions -- including our beautiful beaches, marshes and buildings along the coast.
Fortunately, Delaware's Sen. Tom Carper has taken the lead in opposing Murkowski's move, supported by Sen. Ted Kaufman.
In a press release on Jan. 21, 2010, Sen. Carper wrote: "I strongly oppose Sen. Murkowski's resolution to overturn the EPA endangerment finding because the science about global warming is clear: Greenhouse gases endanger public health."
Now is a good time to call both senators and thank them for their role in protecting our interests. We should also call Rep. Mike Castle to thank him for voting in June for H.R. 2454 to begin to reduce GHG emissions and support the transition to a sustainable energy future and the new industries and jobs it will bring to our economy.
The forces of denial and resistance to change are strong. Take a few minutes to call your members of Congress and let them know they are appreciated. If you don't live in Delaware, contact your senators and ask them to support Sen. Carper.
Chad Tolman is energy chair for the Delaware Chapter of the Sierra Club.

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