Bill Directs EPA to Examine Role of Soot Emissions in Global Warming and Evaluate Strategies to Reduce Emissions
Senators Hillary Rodham Clinton (D-NY), Tom Carper (D-DE), and John Kerry (D-MA) today welcomed approval by the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee of their 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.
"So-called black carbon' emissions may play a significant role in global warming and also may contribute to serious respiratory health problems. The study mandated by this legislation will provide crucial answers about the extent of the damage caused by black carbon and will put us on the path toward reducing those harmful emissions," Senator Clinton said. "Winning the approval of this key committee is a major step forward for this important legislation."
"Our black carbon bill enjoys support from both industry and environmental groups, and now it has won the bipartisan support in the Environment and Public Works Committee. This bill will help us clean up the environment by directing the Environmental Protection Agency to identify the major sources of black carbon and better determine how soot emissions increase global warming. By identifying the best and most cost-effective ways to control black carbon, we are one step closer to our ultimate goal of reducing black carbon emissions that are harmful to the environment and to human health, and to also reduce black carbon's negative effects on global warming," said Senator Carper.
"The effects of climate change are not fifty or a hundred years away - they're impacting us today. As we see melting ice caps in the Arctic and drought in the American Southwest, we simply cannot wait to comprehensively address global climate change. The science today raises growing concerns that soot emissions from trucks and buses directly contribute to our environmental crisis. Findings from the EPA on the effects of black carbon' will help us to address climate change head on," 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.