New Jersey to Use State Clean Air Laws to Cut Global Warming Pollution

Conservation Leader Applauds State Action, Cites Growing Trend as Feds Do Nothing

NEW YORK, NY (September 16, 2004) - The State of New Jersey today announced it will use state air pollution laws to limit emissions of heat-trapping emissions that cause global warming. Adding considerable weight to a growing trend of state-based climate protection in the face of federal inaction, Governor James E. McGreevey officially designated carbon dioxide as an air pollutant. The decision paves the way for New Jersey to join a northeast regional plan to cut global warming pollution.

In the absence of any federal action on global warming, states have taken the lead on fighting global warming. There are currently regional programs to cut global warming pollution on both coasts, with more than a dozen states participating. For instance, California is expected to adopt global warming emissions standards for vehicles next week.

"Governor McGreevey and New Jersey deserve great credit for their actions today," said John Adams, President of NRDC (Natural Resources Defense Council), the New York-based environmental group. "They are taking responsible action to protect their residents' health, New Jersey's economy and the environment. Compare that to the Bush administration and others beholden to the oil and coal industries, who continue to avoid any responsible action to fix the problem."

This designation stands in stark contrast to last year's EPA ruling that carbon dioxide is not an air pollutant under the Clean Air Act. New Jersey and eleven other states joined NRDC (the Natural Resources Defense Council) and other groups to challenge the EPA decision, which is currently ending before the federal court of appeals in Washington.

"Today's action is an important step forward to reduce pollution from power plants and other sources and New Jersey continues to be a leader in the fight against global warming. Enlightened states like New Jersey and others have realized that, without any real federal action to stop global warming, they must take matters into their own hands. We encourage all other states to follow New Jersey's leadership."

Experts confirm the Earth is warming faster today than at any time in history, and faster than natural factors can explain. Since 1990, we've seen the ten hottest years on record, and 19 of the hottest 20 since 1980. The National Academy of Sciences and others say heat-trapping pollution like carbon dioxide is the main cause. Without action soon scientists say average temperatures will warm as much as 10 degrees F by the end of the century.