Statement of Senator Jon S. Corzine
Senate Environment and Public Works Committee
November 15, 2001
Thank you, Mr. Chairman. I commend you for holding another hearing on the important public health and environmental issues addressed by S. 556.
Like other committee members, I have delivered prior statements about the bill and listened to the statements of my colleagues. I think we all support SO2, NOx and Mercury reductions. I want to explain why I think it=s so important to include carbon dioxide in the bill.
The scientific and political consensus have shifted towards action on climate change.
On the scientific front, the evidence grows ever more persuasive that human activities are the primary cause of the warming we have already observed, and that warming is expected to continue.
Just last week, researchers presented a paper at the Geological Society of America's annual meeting last week in Boston showing unprecedented rates of change in sea level during the past 250 years. The scientists showed that sea level has risen between 12 and 20 inches along Maine's coast, and as much as two feet in Nova Scotia during the past 250 years.
As a New Jerseyan, I am extremely concerned about this problem, and how it may relate to the beach erosion problems that we continually battle in my state. I think that may well be an example of the kind of hidden climate change costs that we are just now beginning to understand.
But it=s not just the scientific consensus that=s changingCthe global political consensus is moving as well.
Last week=s climate treaty in Marrakech established a binding agreement on greenhouse gas reductions. Unfortunately, the United States was not engaged in those discussions, although we are the world=s largest greenhouse gas emitters.
We need to support a four pollutant approach.
If the Administration won=t lead on this issue, it=s incumbent on Congress to do so. I want to thank Senator Jeffords and Senator Lieberman for providing that leadership in this committee. And I want to reiterate my commitment to dealing with four pollutants in this legislation.
Reducing the other 3 pollutants should not come at the expense of existing protections.
Finally, I just want to add that reducing SO2, NOx, and Mercury should not come at the expense of provisions that protect local communities or provide for their public input. I=m referring to Title One provisions that some have suggested need to be eliminated in the name of economic efficiency.
Efficiency is not our only goalCwe need to keep fairness in mind, and I think many of the Title One provisions under discussion are designed to ensure fairness and should not be undermined. Thank you, Mr. Chairman.