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Global Climate Change DigestArchives of the
Global Climate Change Digest

A Guide to Information on Greenhouse Gases and Ozone Depletion
Published July 1988 through June 1999



Item #d88aug2

The United States Congress has been dealing with global climate issues on several fronts since the Senate approved the Montreal Protocol on March 14, 1988. Hearings on the need to counter climate change and possible strategies were held by the House and Senate in June and July (see "Witnesses Describe Range of Options to Slow Greenhouse Effect, Global Warming," Environ. Rep., p. 334, July 8, 1988; "Atmospheric Changes Called Irrefutable; Scientists Call for Greater Research Effort," ibid., July 15; "U.S. Energy Policies Attacked; Fusion, Hydrogen Power Examined," Air/Water Pollut. Rep., p. 243, July 4).

In July, Senators Timothy Wirth (D-CO) and Robert Stafford (R-VT) introduced separate pieces of legislation to control greenhouse and ozone-depleting emissions. Wirth's bill (S. 2667) requires a 20 percent reduction in carbon dioxide emissions by the year 2000; directs the Energy and Interior Departments to develop a national energy policy including conservation and renewable sources, and provides funds for development of alternates to fossil fuels including nuclear energy. It directs an inventory of tropical rain forests be taken and encourages international private investment in energy-efficient technologies. The Stafford bill proposes federal regulation of CFCs as a hazardous waste, and prohibits their manufacture by 1999. It requires a national program to identify federal property at risk from sea level rise, and has provisions for reducing the emission of greenhouse gases, including nitrogen oxides and hydrocarbons from mobile sources. Serious action on the Wirth and Stafford measures is not expected this year, especially since Stafford will be retiring after the current session.

Senator John McCain (R-AR) introduced a bill that would establish a task force including representatives of industry and federal agencies. It would investigate industrial and legislative steps for reducing the production and emission of ozone-depleting chemicals. The National Global Climate Change Research Act (S. 2614), introduced by Senator Earnest Hollings (D-SC), designates the Federal Coordinating Council for Science, Engineering and Technology (FCCSET) as lead agency to coordinate a 10-year program within federal agencies, many of which already have climate change research underway. FCCSET would set research goals, define agency roles, and coordinate budgets and international cooperation. (See Eos, July 19.)

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