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He is in this country to deliver a message to our Government, the Administration and Congress, about why the United States, as he puts it, “Should join the club.” The remarks from one of his speeches, which I had the chance to read over the weekend, I thought, were striking.
First he notes that the Administration's policy, the so-called comprehensive approach in which we do nothing about carbon dioxide but focus on greenhouse gases covered by the Montreal Protocol, would allow the United States to increase CO2 emissions by about 15 percent by the year 2000. Obviously, a net growth in emissions by the biggest producer of CO2 would have the effect of drastically reducing the effectiveness of commitments made by others, particularly the Europeans, who have generally committed to stabilize at 1990 levels by the year 2000.
Secretary Alders concludes in this speech, Until now, Turkey and the United States are the only OECD countries which have not made specific commitments on CO2, and this is not how we would like to look at the United States. As U.K. Prime Minister Major already said: the world looks to the U.S. for decisive leadership on the climate issue. In our perception, there are no technical or economic reasons for the United States not to join the other OECD countries.
Mr. Chairman, as you point out, the European Community's distress with the United States on this issue is based on their review of the warnings of scientists. It is hard to believe that all of them could be wrong.
A recent report issued by the National Academy of Sciences states, “Despite the great uncertainties, greenhouse warming is a potential threat sufficient to justify action now." Our own Office of Technology Assessment warns,
We cannot yet predict the magnitude of climatic effects from greenhouse gas emissions, but it is clear that the decision to limit emissions cannot await the time when the full impacts are evident. The lag time between emissions of the gases and their full impact is on the order of decades to centuries. So, too, is the time needed to reverse any effects. Today's emissions thus commit the planet to changes well into the Twenty-first Century.
Mr. Chairman, last month, along with the ranking Republican on this committee, Senator Chafee, and with Congressmen Cooper and Synar in the House, I introduced legislation which attempts to start to address the problem of carbon dioxide emissions by applying a market-based approach to curb the growth of those emissions. This legislation builds on the cost-effective economic incentives approach adopted, or pioneered really, by this committee in the earlier Acid Rain Program which was part of the new Clean Air Act.
It creates marked incentives for a wide variety of sources of CO2 to reduce CO2 emissions and receive credit for those reductions. Credit could take a variety of forms, including planting trees, adopting energy efficiency programs, switching fuels, or replacing units with renewable or clean energy sources. Those credits could then be sold or transferred to new sources or older facilities that will be required to compensate for the new carbon dioxide emissions by acquiring offset credits.
Potential offset suppliers and purchasers are left free to determine which of the options are economically attractive. Industry itself, I am convinced, would come up with imaginative and costeffective solutions.
I am pleased that at least some segments of industry are already reacting positively to this legislation. Recently the president and chief executive of the Arizona Public Service Company, Mark DeMichele, who also serves as Chairman of Edison Electric Institute's Steering Committee on Global Climate Change, wrote to Congressman Cooper and said: while I cannot speak for the entire electric utility industry, in concept, I wholeheartedly support the proposed legislation.
Mr. Chairman, I hope that when Congress returns in the Fall, this subcommittee will have an opportunity to hold a hearing on this legislation and that Congress, through this legislation and other actions, can move quickly to make certain that the United States not only joins the club, but provides the leadership that the world expects of us on this and other global problems.
Thank you, Mr. Chairman. Senator Baucus. We will now turn to our first panel, consisting of: Ms. Eileen Claussen, Director of the Office of Atmospheric and Indoor Air Programs for the Environmental Protection Agency; Ms. Liz Cook, Ozone Campaign Director for Friends of the Earth; Mr. Art FitzGerald, Assistant Vice President for Environmental Affairs at Northern Telecom; and Mr. Kevin Fay, Executive Director of the Alliance for a Responsible CFC Policy in Rosslyn, Virginia.
Ms. Claussen, why don't you begin? STATEMENT OF EILEEN CLAUSSEN, DIRECTOR, OFFICE OF AT
MOSPHERIC AND INDOOR AIR PROGRAMS, U.S. ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION AGENCY
Ms. CLAUSSEN. Mr. Chairman, it is a pleasure to be here today to present to you an update of our activities on stratospheric ozone protection, both domestic and international, and to give you our vision of how we can proceed to deal with the new scientific findings in a way that achieves real results. It is also a pleasure to be seated on a panel of both the industrial and environmental community since we are working well together to achieve our environmental goal of returning to a fully protective stratospheric ozone layer.
Let me begin with an international update. As I believe you are aware, the third meeting of the parties of the Montreal Protocol took place in Nairobi last month. At the same time, the executive committee of the Fund to Assist Developing Countries also held its fourth meeting. Both of these meetings move our international process forward, and I would like to give you the highlights of both meetings.
At the meeting of the parties, China announced that they had ratified the Protocol; South Korea announced that they would soon ratify it; Taiwan announced that they would meet a 2000 phase-out date for their controlled substances; and we all agreed that the scientific and technical assessment must be completed by the Fall and must, in light of the new disturbing science, focus on earlier phaseout dates for the controlled chemicals and on defining only essential uses for HCFCs.
As you know, the U.S. chairs the Science Assessment and cochairs the Technical Assessment. We are thus in a good position to see that the mandates of the parties are carried out.
At the meeting of the executive committee for the fund, the 14 nations that comprise the committee made the fund fully operational by approving the work programs of the three implementing agencies: the World Bank, the U.N. Environment Program and the U.N. Development Program.
In prior meetings, we had established a set of Secretariat-approved operating guidelines and approved a budget. Now the work of funding projects must begin in earnest. Again, we will be in a good position to shape the activities of this executive committee over the next few years as the United States will be the vice chairman this year and the chairman in 1992–93.
On the domestic side, I am pleased to report that implementation of Title VI is well underway, although the workload is enormous. Using the Stratospheric Ozone Protection Advisory Committee, we have been developing regulations implementing various provisions of that title. At the present time, proposed rules for section 604, the phase-out provisions, section 609, the provisions for motor vehicle air-conditioning recycling, and section 610, the ban on nonessential uses of controlled substances are all in final Administration review.
In addition, we have begun work on the labeling rules under section 611, the National recycling rules under section 608, and the safe alternatives program under section 612. I am hopeful that we will be able to promulgate rules under all of these sections in accordance with the deadlines in the Clean Air Act.
As we move ahead on implementing the Clean Air Act, we are also making considerable progress on phasing out of CFCs. Current consumption is now 23 percent below 1986 levels, and we expect to continue this sharp trend until our use of CFCs is entirely eliminated.
As we look toward the future and analyze the recent data we have received on depletion of the ozone layer, we have begun to realize that the efforts that we have put into this program, though positive and far-reaching, may not be enough. Our analysis suggests that there are additional things we must attempt over the next several years, and we are moving forward to define them and make them a part of our agenda.
Specifically, there are three kinds of activities that we must concentrate on. One is working with developing countries to make their phase-out dates as close to ours as possible. Let me note here that we have done a lot of bilateral work with Mexico on their CFC phase-out and Mexico has already set a goal of phasing out on the same schedule as we.
Second is to ensure that our phase-out dates for controlled substances are as tight as they can be and that our programs for recycling and recovery are effective and are adopted internationally. Third is making sure that ozone-depleting substitute chemicals are only used where absolutely necessary and are then recycled and recovered. If we can achieve the goals implicit in these activities, we will move a long way toward achieving our goal of a fully protective ozone layer.
Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
Senator BAUCUS. Thank you.
STATEMENT OF LIZ COOK, OZONE CAMPAIGN DIRECTOR,
FRIENDS OF THE EARTH Ms. Cook. Thank you, Mr. Chairman. Friends of the Earth greatly appreciates the opportunity to share our views today on the outcome of the Nairobi meeting and Clean Air Act implementation. If I may, I would like perhaps an extra minute to talk about a third important issue that you asked us to address, which is funding for stratospheric ozone protection programs.
As you are well aware, despite all of the efforts being taken at the international and the National level the ozone depletion problem continues to get worse. In this regard, Mr. Chairman, we appreciate the strong statement you made on July 24th before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee on this subject. We can't agree with you more. In consideration of the new data we must absolutely take every action possible to eliminate ozone depleting chemicals.
On behalf of Friends of the Earth, I did have the chance to attend the Nairobi meeting. I also serve on EPA's Stratospheric Ozone Protection Advisory Committee and several of its Clean Air Act implementation subcommittees. With this perspective, I regret to say today that not enough is being done at either the international or the National levels to stop ozone destruction. First, I would like to address the Nairobi meeting and the international level.
While parties in Nairobi could not procedurally strengthen the Montreal Protocol at that meeting, we were disappointed that the entire group of parties did not respond to new science and issue a declaration committing all of them to strengthening the Montreal Protocol at the first possible time, which is in 1992. There was vocal opposition from Japan, from the Soviet Union, and from several developing countries. This leads us to believe that amendments in 1992 are far from certain.
Furthermore, despite Administrator Reilly's concern about the recent NASA findings, the United States did not forcibly push for a full declaration of the parties. Instead, the parties simply instructed the assessment panels of the Montreal Protocol to look at the feasibility of further strengthening of the agreement.
There is no excuse for the United States not committing to moving faster than the year 2000. Several governments are committed to 1995 and other governments are committed to doing this by 1997.
Friends of the Earth and other groups are calling for two critical changes to the Protocol. The first is to accelerate the control measures that are on currently controlled compounds. We think that all of these chemicals can be eliminated in the first half of the 1990's; and secondly, to bring in the HCFCs, the substitute chemicals which harm the ozone layer and are not currently controlled. In this regard, we think the longest-lived ones should be phased out rapidly and by the year 2000.
On an optimistic note, as Ms. Claussen told us, the Ozone Fund did become operational in Nairobi. We now must take every effort to ensure that sufficient funding is available to eliminate these chemicals as fast as possible in developing countries and that all the projects financed are environmentally sound.
We are particularly pleased with the decision the parties took to let environmental nongovernmental organizations observe at meetings of the Ozone Fund. The United States took a strong leadership role in making sure that this happened, and we greatly appreciate the United States's support on this issue.
Friends of the Earth will work hard to monitor the activities of the Ozone Fund and we look forward to leadership from the United States in their influential role to ensure that this fund is not used to finance another whole generation of ozone-depleting compounds.
On the domestic level, much more can also still be done. This committee was very instrumental in giving the EPA wide authority with the Clean Air Act Amendments of 1990 to control ozone-depleting substances. Now, the committee must ensure that every single provision is implemented to the fullest extent possible.
We are very concerned that the Office of Management and Budget may delay and may make it difficult for the EPA to do this. For example, right now, one of the proposed rules that is awaiting clearance is on nonessential products. The nonessential product ban is, at a minimum, designed to ban three CFC products: noise horns, party streamers, and cleaning fluids. But Congress also directed the agency to determine what other products might be nonessential.
The other products must also be banned. We want Congress to make sure that EPA is able to use its full authority to do this. There are other important provisions, such as safe alternatives and lowest achievable emissions. These provisions can be used to ensure that industry does not replace CFCs with HCFCs, the substitutes that can still hurt the ozone layer in a very aggressive way.
Finally, you also mentioned section 606, which allows the EPA administrator to accelerate the phase-out, and we are very happy that on this committee, several Members have signed a letter to Administrator Reilly reminding him of that provision. This provision is one way that the United States can accelerate its plans to phase out CFCs and HCFCs and, hopefully, join other governments in taking the lead and moving much faster than the Montreal Protocol.
The last subject-and I will say that our written testimony does go into this in more detail—is the subject of funding. Recently, the Office of Management and Budget tried to put a halt on environmental mitigation programs that the EPA is involved in. Apparently, EPA hopes to be able to continue some of these programs, looking at very important subjects such as alternatives to CFCs in the refrigeration sector by moving them into different areas.
We are very concerned that this may take away from other important EPA programs. We just don't understand how, given the U.S. commitment to eliminate these compounds and given the seriousness of this problem, OMB would even try to stop important programs in this area.
Senator BAUCUS. I am going to have to ask you to summarize.