Legislation Directs EPA to Study the Role of Soot Emissions in Global Warming and to Evaluate Diesel Retrofit Technologies and Other Ways to Reduce Emissions
Senators Hillary Rodham Clinton (D-NY), Tom Carper (D-DE), and John Kerry (D-MA) have introduced legislation directing the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to study the role of soot emissions in global warming, and to identify technologies and strategies to reduce those emissions. Recent scientific studies have concluded that soot, also known as "black carbon," plays a more significant role in global warming than previously thought.
"Global warming is a growing threat to the health and future of our planet," said Senator Clinton. "Recent scientific evidence indicates that soot emissions may have a powerful warming effect, particularly in the near term. The good news is that we have technology to reduce these emissions, such as retrofitting old school buses and trucks with pollution control equipment. Taking steps to reduce soot emissions could be a win-win that reduces the threat of global warming and provides significant health benefits in terms of reduced respiratory disease. This legislation would task EPA with working quickly to study the black carbon issue in detail, and to report back to Congress with the information needed to put a full legislative strategy in place."
"This Clinton-Carper bill directs the EPA to study of all sources and potential hazardous health effects of black carbon, which we already know contributes to global warming," said Senator Carper. "The results of this black carbon study will enable us build on the work we've done to reduce dangerous particulate matter emissions from vehicles by identifying cost-effective control methods, including diesel retrofits."
"We can't afford to delay any longer in addressing all of the factors that cause global climate change. The science now shows that black carbon has a larger impact on climate change than was previously understood. Additional findings from the EPA on the effects of soot emissions will help us craft the best policy response to combat the climate crisis," said Senator Kerry.
A study published earlier this year in Nature Geoscience concluded that the atmospheric warming impact of black carbon emissions is as much as three to four times higher than estimated in the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) report released last year. One strategy for reducing black carbon emissions would be to retrofit older trucks, buses and other heavy-duty diesel engines with equipment to reduce emissions.