Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Community leaders call for aggressive measures to counter global warming

Community leaders call for aggressive measures to counter global warming: "By MINI KOLLURI Cox News Service Friday, October 19, 2007 WASHINGTON — Community leaders from around the country testified before a House panel Thursday about the ways in which global warming is affecting their communities and pressured lawmakers to act soon to take more aggressive measures to counter it.

'As we watch our ice melt, our forests burn, our villages sink, our sea levels rise, our temperatures increase, our oceans acidify, and our animals become diseased and dislocated, we recognize that our traditional ways of life are at risk,' said Mike Williams, vice-chairman of the Alaska Inter-Tribal Council, at a hearing held by the House Select Committee on Energy Independence and Global warming.

Rep. Edward Markey, D-Mass., who heads the committee, agreed that global warming and indiscriminate use of fossil fuels has rendered some communities particularly vulnerable. 'Over 70 percent of African-Americans and Latinos live in counties that violate federal air pollution standards,' he said.

'And they have higher prevalence of asthma and other debilitating lung diseases.' Both the House and the Senate passed their versions of an energy bill earlier this year and lawmakers are now working on a compromise measure.

The House bill aims to cut U.S. greenhouse gas emissions that cause global warming by up to 40 percent and Markey claims the measure would create 1.5 million jobs in the alternate energy industry by 2030.

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