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Poised for Greatness on Climate Super Pollutants

Bipartisanship on climate change these days almost qualifies as a miracle, and so I commend Congressmen Scott Peters (D-CA-52) and Matt Gaetz (R-FL-1) for finding common ground in introducing the Super Pollutant Emissions Reduction Act to address the most potent of greenhouse gases, the so-called Super Pollutants.

According to the latest report by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), the world could hit 1.5C warming above preindustrial levels by 2030. Such warming could trigger dangerous, long-lasting, and irreversible impacts. That’s why efforts to address the most potent of greenhouse gases, the super pollutants — methane, black carbon, and HFCs — are quite strategic and much needed before it’s too late. Reducing these super pollutants in this decade will provide us some breathing room as we go after the largest contributor, carbon dioxide — which is released when we burn fossil fuels, the energy sources that still power our economies. Reducing climate pollution at the rate and scale required is going to require all the flexibility we can muster. That’s why addressing the super pollutants is strategic and essential.

The Super Pollutants Act provides some good steps on black carbon and HFCs, but this must quickly be followed up by requirements to reduce them. 

As for methane, it is quite commendable that the Act codifies a previous rule regulating methane from for new sources. 

However, most methane pollution will continue to come from existing sources — and here the Act is a shot across the bow to methane polluters. Clean up your act voluntarily, or by January 2026 the EPA will be required by this law to issue regulations. While we would prefer this process to happen more quickly, we hope and expect that the threat of regulations will spur action from industry in the near term. Optimistically, this approach just might have methane reductions move more quickly. Given that over 200,000 actions in support of methane reduction policies have been taken already by pro-life Christians, we’ll continue to encourage all involved to reduce methane pollution at the pace and scale that’s necessary.

The bipartisan Peters-Gaetz Super Pollutants Act helps to set us up for greatness on reducing these dangerously destabilizing climate pollutants, and I commend Congressmen Peters and Gaetz for their leadership.

Rev. Mitch Hescox
Evangelical Environmental Network

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