Boxer’s Parting Shot on Climate Change

Boxer’s Parting Shot on Climate Change

Sen. Barbara Boxer, desperate to implement harsher standards for greenhouse gas emissions before she loses control of the Senate’s Environment and Public Works Committee, is attempting to pass the Super Pollutants Act, a bill that would force cuts in emissions of soot, methane and hydrofluorocarbons. The bill was authored by Sens. Chris Murphy (D-CT) and Susan Collins (R-ME). According to Collins’ website, the bill is

…aimed at reducing emissions of short-lived climate pollutants (SLCPs). SLCPs, referred to as “super pollutants,” are non-carbon dioxide greenhouse pollutants that cause 40 percent of global warming. SLCPs range from methane that is leaked by landfills and oil and gas exploration, to refrigerants leaking from refrigerators and air conditioners, to soot from diesel engines and millions of traditional cookstoves all over the developing world. Studies show that fast action to reduce SLCPs in the atmosphere could cut the rate of sea level rise by 25 percent, almost halve the rate of temperature rise, prevent two million premature deaths each year, and avoid crop losses of over 30 million tons annually.

The San Francisco Chronicle reports that Boxer wants to move before January, when incoming committee Chairman Sen. James Inhofe of Oklahoma takes over her seat. Inhofe is a well-known opponent of climate change regulations; he will likely mount opposition to rescind President Barack Obama’s new measure to mandate reductions in carbon dioxide emissions from coal-fired power plants. Inhofe has said he will use the committee to investigate the EPA’s regulations and authority. 

Even though Boxer knows that her own plans may be scuttled by the incoming GOP majority, she asserts Obama would veto any such GOP move.