Bay Area lawmakers respond
to climate change report
By Ari Burack, Bay City News Service
Feburary 4, 2007
After the release of a report
by an international climate change panel on Friday, Bay Area Democratic
lawmakers issued statements acknowledging the human impact on
global climate change and calling for new policies on pollution
control and alternative energy development.
The report by Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, established
in 1988 by the World Meteorological Association and the United
Nations, stated that most of the observed increase in global temperatures
in the last century is "very likely'' due to human influence
from greenhouse gas emissions.
"The reality is that the warming cannot be stopped, but
it can be slowed,'' U.S. Sen. Dianne Feinstein, D-San Francisco,
said in a prepared statement.
Feinstein called for immediate steps "across all sectors
of the economy'' to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.
Her recommendations included increases in car and truck fuel
economy by 10 miles per gallon over 10 years; national incentive-based
"cap-and-trade'' emissions limitation programs for the electricity
and industrial sectors; increased supplies of low-carbon fuels
such as biodiesel and E-85, an ethanol-gas blend; and a national
energy efficiency program.
"The time to act is now,'' Feinstein said. "The very
future of our planet hangs in the balance.''
U.S. Rep. Tom Lantos, D-San Mateo/San Francisco, added, "With
this milestone report, it is quite clear to even those who doubted
it before, that climate change is real -- and that humans are
contributing to the problem.''
Without citing specific proposals, Lantos called for the introduction
of "sound, pragmatic policies'' taking both environmental
and economic concerns into account.
"The cost of doing nothing far outweighs the cost of tackling
climate change head-on,'' Lantos said.
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