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House Passage of the American Clean Energy and Security Act is an Historic Milestone; Stronger Action is Essential

July 2, 2009

Washington, DC (July 2, 2009) -  PSR recognizes the historic significance of House passage on June 26, 2009, of the American Clean Energy and Security Act (ACES). For the first time, a branch of Congress has taken responsibility for acting to comprehensively reduce greenhouse gas emissions. 

As the EPA found in April, the greenhouse gas emissions that cause global warming pose a significant danger to health and public welfare. Physicians for Social Responsibility (PSR) is deeply concerned about the human health consequences that are occurring and will grow worse as climate change intensifies. In order to prevent the most catastrophic effects of global warming, America must contend with its role in global greenhouse gas emissions. PSR calls for a science-based approach to achieve the goals of this legislation: to transform America’s energy future and begin combating global warming.

“In the coming months, as climate and energy legislation makes its way to the President’s desk, we must take every opportunity to secure more stringent limits on greenhouse gas emissions and greater investment in clean, renewable energy and efficiency,” said Dr. Peter Wilk, Executive Director of PSR. “To preserve the public’s health, we must eliminate incentives for dirty coal-fired power plants and new, expensive, unsafe nuclear reactors.”

The health impacts of global warming will be pervasive, affecting every American. Children, the elderly, people living in poverty, and those with underlying illnesses will be particularly vulnerable to these health effects. Already we are seeing the consequences of global warming in the form of heat waves, poor air quality, flooding, hurricanes, and increases in vector- and water-borne diseases.

“It is especially important that the Environmental Protection Agency be given a more decisive regulatory and enforcement role to assure that substantial reductions in greenhouse gas emissions actually occur as a result of this legislation,” noted Dr. Evan Kanter, President of PSR.

PSR calls on Congress and the President to act aggressively to prevent catastrophic climate change. This will require instituting stringent carbon dioxide controls for large polluters and removing counterproductive taxpayer subsidies.

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