Obama Bill Provides Every American with Tools to Fight Climate Change

Monday, May 14, 2007     FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE       Contact: Ben LaBolt

WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Senator Barack Obama (D-IL) was today joined by Senators Olympia Snowe (R-ME) and Jeff Bingaman (D-NM) in introducing legislation that would create a national education program to build awareness about the causes and effects of global climate change. This bipartisan bill, the Climate Change Education Act, will educate students and all Americans about the troubling consequences of climate change, greenhouse gases, and carbon emissions, as well as suggest steps they can take to conserve energy and reduce their environmental impact.

“The power to fight back against climate change lies in the hands of all Americans,” said Senator Obama. “As we develop national solutions to reduce carbon emissions from our factories and motor vehicles, every student should know that lifestyle choices like changing a light-bulb or driving a fuel-flexible car can help our progress.”

“The youth of America should know what they can do to fight the problem of global climate change,” Senator Snowe said. “We need everyone working together to confront a threat of this urgency and magnitude as storms will brew stronger, sea levels will rise faster and days will grow warmer for populations around the world. Now is the time to break the cycle and for everyone to start playing an active role in our collective futures.”

“The Climate Change Education Act will further broaden understanding of climate change and help educate people about the harmful effects of the greenhouse gases which are heating up the earth’s atmosphere,” said Sen. Bingaman, chairman of the Senate Energy Committee. “This bill is a good step forward in helping to explain and promote the need for solutions to the problems associated with global warming pollution.”

The Climate Change Education Act will:

  • Create a Climate Change Education Program at the National Science Foundation
  • Provide formal and informal education opportunities to educate students and all Americans about climate change, new technologies, and programs that promote energy conservation, renewable energy, and greenhouse gas reduction
  • Launch a national information campaign to promote new ways to address climate change
  • Establish a competitive program to provide grants for developing and distributing education materials

A companion bill, introduced in the House by Representative Mike Honda (D-CA), was adopted when it was introduced as an amendment to legislation reauthorizing the National Science Foundation.

Developing an effective response to climate change in this country requires an innovative national policy, a basic understanding of the environmental costs, and clear methods for energy conservation. Last week, Senator Obama introduced a national low-carbon fuel standard. Obama has also co-sponsored the Global Warming Pollution Reduction Act, which would reduce carbon emissions 80% by 2050.