Kerry Amendment Forces Army Corps to Acknowledge Global Warming
Senator John Kerry (D-Mass.) today introduced legislation that would direct the Army Corps of Engineers to factor climate change into all future water projects and no longer build bridges, levees, damns or other projects with no regard for the environment.
Kerry's legislation is co-sponsored by Senators Russ Feingold (D-Wisc.), Susan Collins (R-ME), Bernard Sanders (I-Vt.), Tom Carper (D-Del.), Joseph Biden (D-Del.), Jack Reed (D-R.I.), Sheldon Whitehouse (D-R.I.), and Maria Cantwell (D-Wash.).
A link to the Kerry legislation is here: http://kerry.senate.gov/v3/press/pdf/5_10_07_WRDA_climate_change.pdf
"Today we have an historic opportunity to make it clear that global warming is real and must be factored into every realm of our public policy," Kerry said. "Whether it's reducing greenhouse gas emissions in cars, reducing pollution, or ensuring our water projects go forward in a responsible way, climate change must be addressed. This amendment is a chance for Senators to put themselves on record that we'll do everything we can to pursue good policies that combat global warming."
Kerry's legislation directs the Army Corps of Engineers to use the best available climate science, account for potential future impacts of climate change on storms and floods, and account for the costs and benefits associated with the loss and protection of wetlands, floodplains, and other natural systems that can buffer the effects of climate change.
"For far too long, the issue of global climate change has been pushed aside as unsolvable, incomprehensible, or simply someone else's problem," Kerry added. "But the stakes could not be higher. The reality could hardly be more stark. Consideration of this amendment is right at the heart of long-overdue and very welcome change."
The current guidelines for Corps project planning were written in 1983 - long before scientists were focusing on the existence, threat and impacts of climate change. In the wake of Hurricane Katrina, It is critical that the Corps begin to account for climate change and protect natural systems that can buffer the impact that we expect climate change will have.
The Kerry legislation is endorsed by the Alliance for the Great Lakes, American Rivers, Apalachicola Riverkeeper, Caribbean Conservation Corporation, Clean Water Action, Clean Water Action of Florida, Clean Water Network of Florida, Coalition to Restore Coastal Louisiana, Coastal Angler Magazine, Cry of the Water, Defenders of Wildlife, Earthjustice, Environmental Defense, Florida Billfish Inc., Florida Sportsman Communications Network, Florida Wildlife Federation, Friends of Perdido Bay, Friends of the Earth, Great Lakes Aquatic Habitat Network and Fund, Great Lakes United, Gulf Restoration Network, Help Save the Apalachicola River Group, Indian Riverkeeper, Lake Erie Region Conservancy, Lake Pontchartrain Basin Foundation, League of Conservation Voters, Louisiana Wildlife Federation, Michigan Division of the Izaak Walton League of America, Michigan Environmental Council, Michigan League of Conservation Voters, Michigan Wildlife Conservancy, National Environmental Trust, National Wildlife Federation, National Wildlife Federation's Great Lakes Office, Ocean Conservancy, Ohio Bass Federation, Ohio Environmental Council, Reef Relief, Republicans for Environmental Protection, Rivers Unlimited, Save the Dunes Council, Save the River, Sierra Club, Sierra Club's Great Lakes Program, St. Johns Riverkeeper, Surfrider Foundation, Tip of the Mitt Watershed Council, Trust for Public Lands, Union of Concerned Scientists, Watershed Center Grand Traverse Bay, Wisconsin Wildlife Federation, World Wildlife Fund