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PSR Calls on Members of Congress to Strengthen the American Clean Energy and Security Act in order to Protect Public Health
May 22, 2009
Physicians for Social Responsibility (PSR) expresses its appreciation to representatives Henry Waxman (D-CA) and Ed Markey (D-MA) and other members for their leadership in moving a comprehensive energy and climate bill, H.R. 2454, through the House Energy and Commerce Committee. However, in order to protect public health from the most catastrophic impacts of global warming, PSR is calling for significant improvements in the bill to make it more effective. For more on these changes, see our PDF here.
Dr. Peter Wilk, Executive Director of PSR, noted that "just this week the EPA held two hearings on its finding that greenhouse gas emissions leading to climate change endanger public health and welfare. If we are to address and prevent this threat, the legislation passed by the Congress must be equal to the task. We believe the current bill backpedals on emission targets, establishes unnecessary corporate giveaways, creates too many offsets that could fail and rewards the use of dirty energy sources like coal and nuclear. Fortunately, there is an opportunity for members of Congress who are not on the Energy and Commerce Committee to correct the problems in the bill."
PSR appreciates the inclusion of language in the bill that directs the establishment of a strategic plan and reserve account to assist health professionals in dealing with the impacts of climate change. To fund this account, the Congress should greatly expand the auction of greenhouse gas allowances and use a portion of the proceeds to support the provision of public health services.