The Climate Security Act of 2007, S. 2191, co-sponsored by Senators Joseph Lieberman (I, CT) and John Warner (R, VA) would require the U.S. to reduce its emissions by 50% by the year 2050. The need for immediate action to stabilize the earth’s temperature was discussed.
“Climate policy development necessitates more than political will,” Senator George V. Voinovich (R-Ohio) remarked on November 8, 2007 at a Senate Hearing on America’s Climate Security Act of 2007. “We have no assurance that the bill’s international provisions are adequate to ensure the effective participation of China, India, and other developing nations.” He continued, “It is not possible to assess the costs and benefits of this bill. We do not understand how this legislation will impact GDP, or the price, supply, and reliability of electricity and gasoline that millions of Americans depend upon every day.” Senator Barbara Boxer (D-CA) stated that the former chief economist of the World Bank (Sir N. Stern) has told her that a dollar invested in combating global warming can save $5 later.
Senator Tom Carper (D-DE) said, “A good global warming bill should provide incentives for clean, efficient power generation. An output-based allocation can be used to provide allowances to renewable energy, solar, wind, and geothermal. 46,000 adults in Delaware suffer from asthma. Nationally, 27.1 million children, age 13 and under, are being exposed to unhealthful levels of ozone.” He continued, “Air pollution results in frequent respiratory infections in children. Acute exposure to NOx and SO2 leads to a 20% increase in hospitalization of children (American Lung Association, 2000, 07: Department of Health and Human Services, 1998). Power plants produce 67% of SO2 emissions. Americans dying from SO2 exposure: 24, 000 per year, 462 per week, 66 per day (ABT Associates Study on behalf of EPA, 2004). 630,000 infants born each year are exposed to damaging levels of mercury (U.S. EPA, Methylmercury: Epidemiology Update, 2004).”
According to the American Council for Capital Formation (ACCF), the biggest obstacles to the success of S. 2191 are the increases in U.S. population and energy use. More people mean more energy needed for home heating and cooling, job growth and transportation.
Heyecan Veziroglu is an intern at the American Journalism Center, a training program run by Accuracy in Media and Accuracy in Academia.