Statement of Senator SandersIntroduction of the Clean Power Act of 2007

Mr. President, today I am introducing the Clean Power Act of 2007. I ask that the full text of the bill be included in the record following my remarks. This legislation is modeled after legislation spearheaded by my predecessor and ardent protector of the environment and the public health, Senator Jim Jeffords. I am proud to sit on the Environment and Public Works Committee that was under his leadership for a time, and I am also honored to be a member of another Committee of significant importance, the Energy and Natural Resources Committee.Mr. President, the Clean Power Act of 2007 gets to a problem on the minds of those in the northeast, who suffer insults to their health and their environment in the form of dirty air and polluted lakes, as well as those all across the country who want to see power plants shape up their act. This legislation will help clean the air and reduce global warming pollution by dramatically reducing the four major pollutants emitted by power plants - carbon dioxide, nitrogen oxide, sulfur dioxide, and mercury. Congress must work toward an economy-wide approach to addressing global warming, along the lines of the legislation I introduced with Senator Boxer and others: S. 309, the Global Warming Pollution Reduction Act. However, power plants should begin reducing their greenhouse gas emissions now, at the same time they are reducing emissions of other air pollutants. The Clean Power Act of 2007 would set this process in motion by using a cap and trade approach for reducing carbon dioxide, nitrogen oxide, and sulfur dioxide emissions. Additionally, the legislation makes specific linkages to an economy-wide reduction of pollutants responsible for global warming by specifying that if Congress has not passed, and the President has not signed, legislation affecting at least 85% of manmade sources of global warming pollutants by 2012, that the emissions from power plants must be decreased each year by 3% until atmospheric concentrations of global warming pollutants are stabilized at 450 parts per million carbon dioxide equivalent. So, while I am putting forward this power plant only bill today, let it be clear that I remain firm in my belief that we must tackle the problem of global warming in a way that will actually make a difference to the future of the planet.I am happy to be joined in introducing this legislation by Senator Lieberman, Senator Leahy, and Senator Feingold. Additionally, I am glad to have the support of many national organizations, including the Clean Air Task Force, National Wildlife Federation, Environmental Defense, National Environmental Trust, the American Lung Association, Natural Resources Defense Council, and U.S. PIRG. As we move forward to address global warming and to protect current and future generations, dealing with power plant emissions is a good start. I look forward to gaining the support of my colleagues on this important legislation.