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Heat Advisory: Protecting Health on a Warming Planet
by Dr. Alan Lockwood

Drawing on peer-reviewed scientific and medical research, Dr. Lockwood meticulously details the symptoms of climate change and their medical side effects.

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House Energy Bill Takes a Step Forward on Global Warming, Energy Security

August 7, 2007

On August 4, the House of Representatives passed a wide-ranging energy bill that marks a significant step forward toward reducing global warming and improving U.S. energy security. Passed by a vote of 241 to 172, the New Direction for Energy Independence, National Security, and Consumer Protection Act sets new efficiency standards for appliances, lighting and buildings and offers incentives for the production of cellulosic ethanol and for the installation of E-85 ethanol gas pumps. The bill also provides tax breaks for the production and purchase of plug-in hybrid vehicles.

Most significantly, the House approved an amendment establishing a renewable electricity standard (RES) that requires electric utilities nationwide to obtain at least 15 percent of their power from a combination of energy efficiency and renewable sources like wind, solar and geothermal energy by 2020. While the original RES amendment set a target of 20 percent by 2020, the 15 percent RES included in the House energy bill will significantly curb global warming pollution while sending a clear message to electricity providers that renewable energy is vital to building a clean, sustainable and secure energy future.

In addition to the energy bill, the House also passed a companion tax package that repeals $16 billion in tax breaks given to oil and gas companies. Much of the money will be used to fund programs aimed at expanding renewable energy, improving energy efficiency and boosting biofuels production.

Disappointingly, the energy bill approved by House lawmakers did not include a provision to raise the fuel economy of America’s automobiles. In June, the Senate-passed energy bill included a measure that would increase the corporate average fuel economy (CAFE) for cars and light trucks to 35 miles per gallon (mpg) by 2020. According to a UCS analysis, a 35 mpg standard would reduce global warming pollution by more than 200 million metric tons per year in 2020, while creating nearly 200,000 new jobs. 

While the House-passed energy legislation lacks a provision on fuel economy, the energy package passed by the Senate last June is without an RES requirement. The two bills will be reconciled in a conference committee this fall. To achieve truly meaningful reductions in greenhouse gas emissions and move the U.S. toward a clean energy future, both of these critical provisions must be included in the final bill to be agreed upon by House and Senate negotiators.

Action Alerts

  • Our water is at risk—act now!

    Tell the EPA that the Clean Water Rule is a public health imperative.

  • Stop the Dirty Budget!

    Tell your U.S. senators and representative to stand up for clean air, clean water and a sustainable climate by voting against anti-health budget cuts and "poison pill" amendments.

More action alerts»

Resources

  • PSR Expert Testimony on Coal Ash

    Chesapeake PSR is suing the EPA over a proposed delay in a rule that slashes coal ash waste discharges into rivers and streams. PSR National Environment & Health Director Barbara Gottlieb gave expert testimony on the health impacts of coal ash disposal. Read more »

  • Barbara Gottlieb's Testimony on EPA Methane Standards

    On July 10, 2017, PSR Environment & Health Director Barbara Gottlieb testified before the EPA against a proposed rollback of a methane regulation that would reduce leaks from oil and gas wells. Read more »

  • Climate Communicators Guide

    Our new guide for climate communicators speaking on behalf of PSR, featuring tips for speaking on climate change and health, and sample presentations and other resources. Read more »

In the Spotlight

  • November 30, 2016
    Eating for Climate and Health
    PSR's new PowerPoint presentation on how climate change impacts food production, and agriculture's contribution to climate change.