Inside the Beltway: Act Aims to Lessen Global Gases

By Published On: December 4, 2014

The Senate Environment & Public Works Committee vetted plans to reduce greenhouse gases from short-lived pollution—the subject of S. 2911, the Super Pollutants Act. The bipartisan bill, authored by Sen. Chris Murphy (D-CT), is not addressing the more politically difficult problem of carbon dioxide’s inexorable global warming. “It’s not a revolutionary change,” Murphy said. But it’s manageable and inexpensive, he added. It focuses on reducing air conditioning and refrigerant emissions. “Solving climate change may be hard, but getting started today” is a first and most important policy to address health problems, said Durwood Zaelke, president, Institute for Governance & Sustainable Development. He added that California has led the world in reducing black carbon by 90 percent. If passed, the bill establishes a task force. In 1.5 years the task force is required by the legislation to report to Congress on how to meet worldwide goals of reducing hydrofluorocarbons, methane, and related indirect emissions to unspecified levels. The report is to cover: • Decreasing tropospheric ozone by the federal government; • Plans to purchase cleaner alternatives whenever feasible; and • Transition over time to equipment that uses safer and more sustainable alternatives to high-global warming gases. “It’s commonsense steps that can help slow climate change,” said committee chair Sen. Barbara Boxer (D-CA). Sen. James Inhofe (R-OK) is set to take over as chair of the committee.

Share this story

Not a member yet?

Subscribe Now