U.S. Rep. Matt Gaetz, R-Fla., a member of the Climate Solutions Caucus, is championing a proposal to cut down on greenhouse gases.
At the end of last week, Gaetz, a key ally of President Donald Trump on Capitol Hill, teamed up with U.S. Rep. Scott Peters, D-Calif., to showcase the “Super Pollutants Act” which, they insist, will “slow climate change by regulating black carbon, hydrofluorocarbons, and methane -- some of the most potent greenhouse gases” and noted, “these short-lived climate pollutants, also called super pollutants, are significantly more potent than carbon dioxide.”
Gaetz’s office offered some of the details on the proposal.
“The Super Pollutants Act also seeks to preserve current standards on methane pollution from oil and gas production. The bill strengthens standards for global methane emissions, codifies methane emission standards for new sources of methane, and regulates emissions at existing oil and gas operations if voluntary industry efforts do not decrease methane emissions by 40 percent below 2012 levels,” Gaetz’s office noted. “The bill creates a task force of experts from the Environmental Protection Agency, Department of Commerce, Department of Energy, and Department of State to create an action plan to reduce super pollutants based on policy recommendations provided by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, U.S. Climate Alliance, the Interagency Strategy to Reduce Methane Emissions, the Council on Climate Preparedness and Resilience, and the Clean Cooking Alliance. The Super Pollutants Act also coordinates international efforts to reduce super pollutants by requiring federal agencies to provide technical assistance to other nations looking to curb their super pollutants.”
The congressmen pointed to research which showed “aggressively cutting super pollutants now could avoid 1.5 degrees of warming by the end of the century” and “curbing super pollutants could reduce sea level rise 18 percent by 2050 and 24 percent by the end of the century.”
Gaetz weighed in on Friday, explaining why he was championing the proposal.
“Eliminating harmful pollutants from our air, earth, and water is an endeavor that transcends party lines,” Gaetz said. “Environmental stewardship should not be held captive by protracted partisan politics. I’m proud to cosponsor this bill that promotes bipartisan solutions to address the undeniable reality of climate change and takes actionable steps to stem the dischargement of super pollutants. This legislation institutes a business-friendly and free market approach to mitigating pollution by encouraging private companies to voluntarily limit their own emissions. We have many differences in this town, but an issue we should all be able to agree on as humans is the fact that we collectively share the Earth — our most universally precious commodity.”
“As oceans warm, sea levels rise, and droughts sear our world, we must find immediate ways to slow and reverse climate change or face these dire consequences of inaction,” Peters said. “The Super Pollutants Act makes immediate, tangible steps to address some of the worst contributors to climate change and reduce the amount of greenhouse gas present in the atmosphere. We need bipartisan partnerships to address key drivers of climate change today and I look forward to using the coalition we’ve built to further address the climate crisis in innovative ways.”
Peters brought out the bill last month and Gaetz and U.S. Rep. Brian Fitzpatrick, R-Penn., have thrown their support behind it. The bill was sent to the U.S. House Energy and Commerce, the Foreign Affairs and the Financial Services Committees.
Over in the U.S. Senate, U.S. Sen. Susan Collins, R-Maine, and U.S. Sen. Chris Murphy, D-Conn., are backing the companion measure.
The bill has the support of the Evangelical Environmental Network, the Woods Institute for the Environment and at the Precourt Institute for Energy, Citizens for Responsible Energy Solutions, the Institute for Governance & Sustainable Development (IGSD) and Oceana.