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Boxer Calls Endangerment Finding “Long Overdue”

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Washington, DC – U.S. Senator Barbara Boxer (D-CA), Chairman of the Senate Committee on Environment and Public Works, today made the following remarks regarding the Obama Administration’s release of a proposed finding that global warming pollution endangers public health and welfare.

Senator Boxer said: “The release of EPA’s proposed finding that global warming is a threat to public health and welfare is long overdue — we have lost eight years in this fight. The Clean Air Act provides EPA with an effective toolbox for cutting greenhouse gas emissions right now.”

“However, the best and most flexible way to deal with this serious problem is to enact a market based cap and trade system which will help us make the transition to clean energy and will bring us innovation and strong economic growth.”

In a series of hearings, Boxer’s Committee established that global warming pollution is already beginning to heat the planet. In a release, Boxer said the dangers of unchecked global warming include risks to public health, including longer and harsher heat waves with more heat-related illness and death, increased water-borne disease from degraded water quality, and more cases of respiratory disease, including asthma and other lung diseases, from increased smog. Children and the elderly will be especially vulnerable.

The U.N. Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change warned that in the U.S., unchecked global warming will lead to reduced snowpack in the western mountains, critically reducing access to water. There will also be prolonged droughts and insect invasions that kill crops and damage forests, leaving them more susceptible to fire. Coastal communities and habitats will be battered by rising sea levels and intensified storms. Boxer’s committee claimed some scientists have also found that up to 40 percent of species may be lost if global warming continues unabated.

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