406 Dirksen EPW Hearing Room

Frank R. Lautenberg


Madame Chairman, thank you for holding today’s hearing on how the states are leading when it comes to combating global warming—and how the federal government needs to catch up.


Among today’s witnesses is my Governor, Jon Corzine.  Our witnesses hail from states with innovative and active programs to cut greenhouse gases and control climate change.


In addition to Governor Corzine’s move to cut emissions within our state, New Jersey has also joined six eastern states to launch the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative, which will help curb emissions from power plants.


And thirty-six of New Jersey’s cities have joined nearly four hundred other cities from across America to do what the Bush administration won’t do: meet or beat the Kyoto Protocols.


New Jersey and other states are beginning to weave a web of smart environmental regulations across the country.  But the federal government is not doing its part to strengthen that web.


We can change that.


That is why I strongly support Senator Sanders’ ‘Global Warming Pollution Reduction Act,’ which calls for an eighty percent cut in global warming pollutants by 2050.


I have also been joined by Senators Snowe and Boxer in introducing the ‘High Performance Green Buildings Act.’

Buildings—from apartments to skyscrapers—account for nearly forty percent of our greenhouse gases.  The federal government is the biggest landlord in the country and by getting federal buildings to “go green,” we can put a significant dent in our emissions.   

But the federal government needs to do more.


We need caps on greenhouse gas emissions from all power plants and other facilities that pollute.


We need to increase CAFÉ standards to get vehicle emissions and dependence on foreign oil down.


We need incentives for cities and businesses to build in ways that are better for the environment.


And we must end the censorship and suppression of government scientists who do research on global warming. 


The public is taking better care of our environment—and they want to do more.  People are buying hybrids and cars based on fuel efficiency, for example. 


Some in the private sector are also taking some positive steps.


The CEO’s from some of America’s largest companies, such as General Electric and DuPont, and now calling for federal legislation to reduce greenhouse gases.


It’s time for the federal government to do its part—and to support our states, cities and towns that are already doing theirs.



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