Today, Congressman Scott Peters (CA-52) introduced the Super Pollutant Emissions Reduction Act (SUPER Act) of 2013, legislation aimed at combating some of the most significant drivers of global climate change. Super pollutants, also known as short lived climate pollutants, are only somewhat addressed by disparate government programs, and this bill would work to efficiently optimize these efforts to make the most of each taxpayer dollar.
"Given the major impact of these super pollutants on our environment it only makes sense to use already existing technologies to reduce our emissions and slow climate change," Congressman Peters said. "Government at multiple levels is already beginning to address these super pollutants, but it is time to coordinate our efforts to maximize the effectiveness of the programs."
Congressman Peters continued, "In San Diego we already have experience using methane capture technologies at Miramar landfill to generate electricity and partially meet the demands of Marine Corps Air Station Miramar. This type of technology can be used and expanded to reduce emissions and provide communities with electricity."
The SUPER Act would reduce overlap and fragmentation in the response to super pollutants by creating a task force to review existing policies and develop best practices. This task force would find gaps and overlaps among the already existing efforts of multiple levels of government and coalesce them in order to achieve super pollutant reductions.
Super pollutants include black carbon, methane, and hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs), which are among the most potent atmospheric pollutants and contribute significantly more to climate change than carbon dioxide. While many proposals to address climate change involve long-term research or infrastructure investments, the technologies to reduce super pollutant emissions already exist and, with the appropriate governing framework, could greatly reduce the impact on the environment.
"The task force can show the world how to cut climate change in half, save millions of lives every year, and improve crop yields," said Durwood Zaelke, President of the Institute for Governance & Sustainable Development. "Congressman Peters should be congratulated for promoting this critical climate strategy."
Congressman Peters is proud to count fellow California Congressman Jared Huffman (CA-2) as an original cosponsor of the SUPER Act, and the bill has been endorsed by the following organizations: The League of Conservation Voters, the Environmental Working Group, the Institute for Governance & Sustainability, and the Environmental Investigation Agency.