On August 28th, Environmental Defense blasted the announcement that the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) will not characterize carbon dioxide, the chief greenhouse gas contributing to global warming, as a pollutant according to Clean Air Act standards.
"Refusing to call greenhouse gas emissions a pollutant is like refusing to say that smoking causes lung cancer. The Earth is round. Elvis is dead. Climate change is happening. It's time to stop the denial and start focusing on solutions," said Melissa Carey, climate policy specialist with Environmental Defense.
Environmental Defense hailed Senators John McCain (R-AZ) and Joseph Lieberman (D-CT) for their continued efforts to achieve real cuts in greenhouse gas pollution. On August 1, 2003, the Senate unanimously agreed to guarantee a debate and vote on their Climate Stewardship Act, which is the first proposal for a comprehensive, national policy to cut the heat-trapping gases that are disrupting the Earth's climate.
"This is the United States–we don't shrink from challenges, we create solutions. We've done it before and we'll do it again, on climate change. The public knows this, Senators McCain and Lieberman know this, and so too should the Bush Administration," said Carey.
Senators McCain and Lieberman are leaders, and states from California to Oklahoma to Maine are already acting to reduce greenhouse gases. In addition, poll after poll confirm that a growing majority of Americans supports mandatory action on climate change.
"Sometime before Christmas, Senators will have a chance to halt the waffling and delay on climate change and participate in a real debate about the only thing that counts on climate policy — getting greenhouse gas pollution to go down, not up," said Carey.
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