STATEMENT OF SENATOR JON S. CORZINE
COMMITTEE ON ENVIRONMENT AND PUBLIC WORKS
JULY 26, 2001
Thank you, Mr. Chairman. I want to thank you for holding this hearing on S.556, the Clean Power Act. Today’s focus on the potential impacts of this legislation on the environment, the economy, energy supply, and existing mandates is a critical part of the discussion.
Mr. Chairman, air pollution is one of the most serious environmental health issues that we face. As we all know, power plants are significant emitters of SOx, NOx and mercury. While great strides have been made in the control of SOx and Nox, we need to do more and do so in a cost-effective, energy efficient manner. Including mercury in the package will allow us to address a serious public health issue and provide a stable regulatory regime for the power industry.
Finally, global warming is a pressing issue that we need to address seriously and soon. Just this week it was reported that the nine-island nation of Tuvalu has conceded defeat to rising seas and is seeking refuge for its 11,000 citizens.
My state of New Jersey has been a leader in facing up to the issue of global climate change, committing to reducing statewide greenhouse gas emissions 3.5% below 1990 levels by 2005. While New Jersey is making impressive strides with this voluntary initiative, they are looking for the federal government to take the lead in setting mandatory caps on carbon dioxide. Power plants are a good place to start. Power plants represent 1/3 of New Jersey’s--and the nation’s--carbon dioxide emissions. Limiting their CO2 emissions would be an important step in combating climate change.
Mr. Chairman, power plants are certainly not the only sources of these 4 pollutants. But they are major sources, and there is great opportunity for cost-effective reductions to be made, particularly through a comprehensive approach, as the Clean Power Act provides. I look forward to hearing the testimony of the witnesses and thank you again for holding this hearing.