MAC: Mines and Communities

State Air Pollution Officials Urge National Climate Law

Published by MAC on 2007-05-04

State Air Pollution Officials Urge National Climate Law


4th May 2007

The professional association of state and local air pollution control officials this week took aim at global warming.

At its spring membership meeting in Louisville, the National Association of Clean Air Agencies formally adopted a statement calling on Congress to "promptly enact a mandatory economy-wide greenhouse gas emission reduction program with quantifiable and enforceable limits."

The goal of this legislation should be to reduce U.S. greenhouse gas emissions substantially below current levels "to lessen dangerous anthropogenic interference with the climate," the group said.

The legislation should set interim milestones, including short, medium and long-term greenhouse gas emission reduction targets, and recognize the benefits of significant early reductions.

The program should reduce greenhouse gases in a cost-effective manner, utilizing, among other approaches, market-based strategies, the group said.

Executive Director Bill Becker said the membership supports a mandatory program "but one that is flexible enough to allow for a portfolio of strategies to be adopted in addition to such a program."

The principles also support sector-specific strategies for the two largest sources of greenhouse gas emissions in the United States - electric power and motor vehicles.

The principles recognize that the federal government would have the lead on an economy-wide program but that there should be a strong role for states and localities.

"In particular," Becker said, "federal legislation should not preempt state or local governments from taking more stringent actions to reduce greenhouse gas emissions."

The air pollution control officials urged Congress to seriously consider the greenhouse gas recommendations of other state and local organizations, such as the National Governors Association, the Environmental Council of States, the U.S. Conference of Mayors, and The Climate Registry.

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