Statement Of Senator Lamar Alexander On McCain-Lieberman Bill

Posted on October 30, 2003

Clean air is urgent business for Tennessee. It should be urgent business for the United States Senate. That is why I have cosponsored the Clean Air Planning Act proposed by Senator Carper of Delaware. The Carper bill goes farther, faster than President Bush's "Clear Skies" proposal to reduce three major pollutants spoiling Tennessee's air: sulfur, nitrogen, and mercury. The Carper bill also places modest controls on carbon dioxide produced by electric utilities, requiring that by 2013 the carbon emitted by power plants be at 2001 levels. If implemented, this would cause a very modest reduction in the overall carbon emission levels and should encourage the advancement of clean coal gasification technology. My reading of the report of the National Academy of Sciences on Global Warming and my discussions with scientists have convinced me that some additional steps must be taken to limit carbon dioxide emissions, which is why I am supporting the Carper proposal. I am now not prepared to go beyond the requirements of the Carper bill and extend comprehensive regulations on carbon dioxide to the industrial sectors of our economy, as the McCain-Lieberman legislation would do. The science of global warming is unsettled. There is still much to learn about the effect of human activity on global warming. I will continue to carefully monitor what we learn.