WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Senators Susan Collins and Chris Murphy (D-CT) have been joined by several colleagues, including Senator Angus King (I-ME), in introducing the Super Pollutants Act of 2014 –the first bipartisan climate bill of 2014, which aims to reduce emissions of short-lived climate pollutants (SLCPs). The legislation will help reduce SLCPs in the atmosphere by taking a number of steps to enable federal agencies to work with the business and non-profit communities to speed the adoption of SLCP-reducing technologies and policies, all while supporting American-led innovations. For example, the legislation would:
• Foster interagency cooperation on super pollutants;
• Prioritize commonsense emissions reduction strategies, and employ existing federal authorities and diplomatic programs;
• Recycle high-global warming potential (GWP) refrigerants;
• Mitigate methane leaks;
• Expand access to diesel-scrubbing technologies.
SLCPs, referred to as “super pollutants,” are non-carbon dioxide greenhouse pollutants that cause 40 percent of global warming. SLCPs range from methane that is leaked by landfills and oil and gas exploration, to refrigerants leaking from refrigerators and air conditioners, to soot from diesel engines and millions of traditional cookstoves all over the developing world. Studies show that fast action to reduce SLCPs in the atmosphere could cut the rate of sea level rise by 25 percent, almost halve the rate of temperature rise, prevent two million premature deaths each year, and avoid crop losses of over 30 million tons annually.
"Climate change is a significant challenge that requires global solutions in order reduce greenhouse gas pollution worldwide,” said Senator Collins. “The bipartisan legislation that I am introducing with Senator Murphy would address short-lived but significant climate pollutants, an area where the U.S. is already poised to be a leader. With improved interagency cooperation and through commonsense efforts to reduce the emissions of these “super pollutants,” this proposal aims to meaningfully and quickly help slow climate change.”
“We have an environmental, economic, and moral imperative to address climate change, and we need to act now,” Senator King said. “It’s becoming more and more evident that SLCPs are responsible for nearly half of the emissions causing global warming, which means we have an easy first target. Our bipartisan bill will make it easier to bring together all the tools at our disposal by encouraging increased interagency cooperation and harnessing the power of new and emerging technologies.”
“Short-lived climate pollutants are the problem too few people are talking about, but are doing some of the worst damage to the atmosphere,” said Senator Murphy. “As we work to combat threats to our climate, we can’t leave short-lived pollutants out of the equation. Our bill will take these dangerous pollutants head on by making smarter use of tools already at our disposal here in the United States. I’m proud to lead this bipartisan proposal to address a global threat with Senator Collins and I urge my colleagues on both sides of the aisle to support it and help us reduce these super pollutants.”
In addition to Senator King, others who have cosponsored the legislation authored by Senators Collins and Murphy include Senators Amy Klobuchar (D-MN), Bernie Sanders (I-VT), Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI), Jeff Merkley (D-OR.), Chris Coons (D-DE), Dianne Feinstein (D-CA.), and Elizabeth Warren (D-MA.)