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Sierra Club to Pallone: Keep Up the Good Work on Global Warming

Date : Thu, 21 Aug 2008 09:35:20 -0400

For Immediate Release
Contact: Jeff Tittel August 20, 2008 (609) 558-9100

Sierra Club to Pallone: Keep Up the Good Work on Global Warming

New Brunswick, NJ, and Edison, NJ - Today Congressman Frank Pallone (D-NJ) held town hall meetings in New Brunswick and Edison to hear the views of constituents on issues ranging from the war in Iraq to America's energy policy. Among the attendees were representatives from the New Jersey Sierra Club, who turned out to urge Pallone to continue to support real global warming solutions and oppose efforts that will keep us dependent on fossil fuels. "Everyone wants to look green these days," said Jeff Tittel, Director of New Jersey Sierra Club, "but people like John McCain who claim they are going to fight global warming with more of the same - more coal, more oil, and more drilling - are full of hot air."

While industry lobbyists and politicians like McCain tout offshore drilling as a way to solve America's pain at the pump, the truth is that drilling would do little to reduce oil prices. Even the Bush Administration's Energy Information Administration acknowledges that new oil fields would take as long as a decade to develop and that even when the new supply hits the market, it would make almost no difference in the price of oil - the equivalent of a few pennies per gallon of gasoline. "Congressman Pallone has been standing up for our coasts by opposing offshore drilling for his entire career," noted Tittel. "We need him to stay strong in his opposition now more than ever, as some of our friends in Congress start to weaken on this issue."

What America needs is not more drilling and more fossil fuels - it is bold action that leverages existing technologies and invests in emerging technologies to move us quickly toward a clean energy future. As a coastal state, New Jersey will be among the first to be impacted by the effects of global warming, including rising sea levels that will threaten our $34 billion a year coastal tourism industry, increasingly severe cycles of flooding and drought, and a growing population of harmful insects, accompanied by a rise in the incidence of insect-borne diseases. As a result, we have a particularly strong interest in taking real steps to solve this problem.

Congressman Pallone should act in the interests of New Jersey, the country, and the world by supporting policies that:

* Set science-based timetables. The targets and timetables must be sufficient to do what scientists say is necessary to reduce the negative effects of climate change to the maximum extent possible. This will require reductions in total emissions on the order of 20 percent below current levels by 2020 and 80 percent below 1990 levels by 2050.

* Pursue the cleanest, cheapest, fastest solutions first. This means significant investment in energy efficiency, which provides the greatest reductions in the least amount of time. It also means accelerating the development of existing technologies, including offshore wind, which is among the cleanest, cheapest options currently available.

* Invest in the research and development of emerging technologies. Pilot projects testing the possibilities of wave, ocean current, geothermal, and other types of generation have been initiated in New Jersey and other parts of the country. Providing support and funding to the scientists and engineers working on these innovations is vital to bringing new clean energy technologies onto the market as soon as possible.

* Address transportation. Transportation accounts for roughly half the greenhouse gas emissions in New Jersey and is the second largest source of emissions nationwide; therefore, it must be dealt with if we are to effectively combat global warming. This means accelerating the increase of fuel efficiency standards to make our cars go further on a gallon of gas and allowing states to set standards above the federal standard, increasing the use of hybrids and other cleaner technologies, and investing in significant improvements to America's mass transit system.

* Explore the potential of natural gas as a gap fuel. Natural gas produces less than half the carbon dioxide that coal and other fossil fuels do and without the same co-pollutants, such as mercury and sulfur dioxide. This makes natural gas a good replacement fuel for existing coal plants until more renewable sources come online. While natural gas should not be used to supplement coal plants, as this would increase total greenhouse gas emissions, replacing a dirtier source of power with natural gas leads to a reduction in emissions. The gas should also be obtained from existing well fields, as opposed to drilling in new areas, for this to remain an option that reduces global warming with minimum environmental impact.

"The same people that wrote the national energy policy that has led the price of oil to skyrocket are now using high prices as an excuse to continue down the same failed path of dependence on fossil fuels," concluded Tittel. "If we are really serious about addressing global warming, we must move away from old outdated technologies like fossil fuels and nuclear and toward clean, renewable energy and energy efficiency."

##########

Becca Glenn, Program Assistant New Jersey Sierra Club

145 W. Hanover Street Trenton, NJ 08618

609-656-7612: phone

609-656-7618: fax

Received on 2008-08-21 06:40:01

New Jersey Sierra Club, 145 West Hanover St., Trenton, NJ 08618, USA
tel: 609 656 7612, fax 609 656 7618
or email Nicole Dallara, Outreach Coordinator, at nicole.dallara@sierraclub.org

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