Patrick Murphy Endorses Safe Climate Act, Says Time to Reverse Climate Change
Today, Pennsylvania Congressman Patrick Murphy (D-8th district) joined PennEnvironment, the League of Conservation Voters and others to endorse the Safe Climate Act and discuss a new report on Pennsylvania's global warming pollution. The new report shows that global warming pollution has increased dramatically from 1990 to 2004 and that Pennsylvania ranked third in the country in carbon dioxide pollution emissions in 2004. Carbon dioxide emissions contribute directly to climate change. Murphy also spoke about his support for the Safe Climate Act. PennEnvironment's report comes less than a week after the U.N.'s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change warned of increasing droughts, heat waves, water scarcity, and coastal flooding in the United States, unless swift action is taken to reduce global warming pollution. The Safe Climate Act, which Murphy supports, will cut this pollution.
"We need cut greenhouse gas emissions and turn back the clock on dangerous pollution," said Congressman Patrick Murphy. "In order to reverse course and stop the harmful effects of climate change, we need to act with a sense of urgency, which is why this report and the Safe Climate Act are so important. I am proud to be fighting for breathable air and a cleaner environment for all of the families of the 8th district."
"I appreciate the work of PennEnvironment, the League of Conservation Voters and the other concerned groups right here in Pennsylvania who are making climate change a priority," added Murphy.
About the PennEnvironment Report
The new report released by PennEnvironment looks at trends in carbon dioxide - or global warming pollution - emissions from 1990 to 2004, attributing the data to states that produce those emissions. Coal-fired power plants and transportation (cars, rail) are some of the biggest sources of the carbon dioxide increase, as are natural gas-fired power plants. The key findings are:
* Carbon dioxide emissions have increased by 18% between 1990 and 2004 nationwide and by 15% in the Mid-Atlantic region.
o Pennsylvania ranks third in the country in carbon dioxide emissions in 2004.
* Mid-Atlantic carbon dioxide emissions increased 25% between 1990 and 2004 from coal-fired power plants.
o Pennsylvania ranks fourth in the country in carbon dioxide emissions in 2004 from coal-fired power plants.
* Emissions from the transportation sector have increased 26% in the Mid-Atlantic region between 1990 and 2004.
o Pennsylvania ranks fifth in the country in carbon dioxide emissions in 2004 from transportation.
o Pennsylvania also ranks fifth in 2004 for emissions from motor gasoline consumption.
About The Safe Climate Act:
The report recommends immediate action, some of which is consistent with the Safe Climate Act. The Safe Climate Act freezes U.S. greenhouse gas emissions in 2010, at the 2009 levels. Beginning in 2011, it cuts emissions by roughly 2% per year, reaching 1990 emissions levels by 2020. After 2020, it cuts emissions by roughly 5% per year. By 2050, emissions will be 80% lower than in 1990. These goals are comparable to emissions reduction goals adopted by many states and called for by leading American companies, small businesses, religious organizations, environmental advocates, and others.
* The Safe Climate Act directs Environmental Protection Agency to issue regulations sufficient to achieve the emissions targets through the combination of a cap-and-trade program and other measures.
* The bill directs EPA to set a cap on greenhouse gas emissions from the largest polluters and allow the polluters to meet the cap by buying and selling emissions allowances.
* The bill directs EPA to set standards for reducing greenhouse gas emissions from motor vehicles that are at least as stringent as the current California standards. EPA must tighten these standards in 2014 and periodically thereafter.
* The bill directs the Department of Energy to establish national standards requiring an increasing proportion of electricity to be generated from renewable energy sources, reaching 20% of retail electricity sold in 2020.
* The bill directs the Department of Energy to establish national standards requiring utilities to obtain, each year, 1% of their energy supplies through energy efficiency improvements at customer facilities. These savings would accumulate each year through 2020.