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Energy:
greenhouse substances; freedom to breathe

Our Position: oppose
Bill Number: SB1394
Sponsor: Allen: Griffin, Reagan, et al
Legislative Session: 2011 Legislative Session

SB1393 greenhouse emissions; legislative authority basically says the state legislature is the only entity that can regulate human-caused carbon dioxide or other greenhouse gas emissions, plus they added particulates -- both PM10 and PM2.5.  It appears to be seeking to undermine the efforts of the Environmental Protection Agency or any other entity to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, as well as efforts to regulate particulates.  Apparently Arizona senators think our air is too clean.

SB1394 greenhouse substances; freedom to breathe would more accurately be labeled a license to pollute.  It directs the governor to enter into a compact with states that have enacted “Freedom to Breathe” laws, such as SB1393.  These are laws that protect and guarantee the “right” to emit carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases and reserve the right to regulate them – meaning no federal limits on emissions.  It says that any state that participates in such a compact must make it a crime for anyone to interfere with the so-called freedom to breathe laws and must also prohibit government entities from penalizing anyone in a state for exercising the “rights” under the freedom to breathe law – or, more accurately, penalize an agency for requiring anyone to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, including carbon dioxide.

Status

For a detailed status of the bills and to read them click on SB1393 and SB1394.

Action Needed

To call your House Members, click on Arizona House.

Contact

Sandy Bahr at (602) 253-8633 or sandy.bahr@sierraclub.org

Background

Despite the massive public relations effort by the coal industry and some efforts to use scientific uncertainty to derail action, climate disruption is real.  There is significant scientific agreement that human-generated emissions are contributing to that disruption and the overall warming of the planet.

We also know that acting now to reduce greenhouse gas emissions will limit the severity of the impacts.  The disruption of our planet’s climate and the attendant melting glaciers, severe flooding and droughts, and more will put at risk water supplies, endanger public health, and jeopardize our national security.  According to Climate Change and Water in the Southwest: A summary of a special peer-review article series published on January 25, 2011:

“The Southwest is hot, and it has been getting hotter in recent years. Since around 1970, average temperatures have increased by about 2 degrees Fahrenheit, making warming in the region among the most rapid in the nation.”

As a result, we have seen more rain and less snow, higher mortality in our piņon and ponderosa pine forests, and increased risk and frequency of large fires.  Obviously, these changes in climate will also affect our water supply.

Arizona and the country as a whole are at a crossroads.  We can step up and act to reduce carbon emissions by at least 80 percent by 2050, as scientists have recommended, or we can leave that job and the ever-increasing problems associated with climate disruption to the next generation. 

     
     

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