By Editor - March 4, 2008 - 2:59pm

Tags: Olympia Snowe, Susan Collins

Release Date: Mar 3 2008

Washington, DC - U.S. Senators Olympia J. Snowe (R-Maine), John Kerry (D-Massachusetts), Susan Collins (R-Maine), Jay Rockefeller (D-West Virginia) and Mark Pryor (D-Arkansas) announced today that they introduced the Green Chemistry Research and Development Act of 2008. This bi-partisan legislation would leverage federal green chemistry initiatives in an effort to advance research and development at our universities and at our federal agencies. 

"Green chemistry provides an additional tool to confront the environmental, energy and technology challenges of 21st Century," Senator Snowe said. "The American people understand the consequences of an energy and environmental policy that relies on the old technology and processes that does not reward efficiency." 

"Modern science keeps giving us new warnings about many of the chemicals we use every day, from home cleaning products to the food we put on our family's table," Senator Kerry said. "It's time for Washington to respond by helping to build a whole new chemistry industry that's on a mission to make America greener. We have introduced this bill to encourage green chemistry research, development and technology to reduce the impact hazardous toxins and chemicals have on the everyday lives of American families." 

The Green Chemistry Research and Development Act of 2008 would create an interagency working group lead by the National Science Foundation and the Environmental Protection Agency, and in coordination with the Department of Energy and the National Institute of Standards and Technology, to advance green chemistry research. 

"The Green chemistry R&D Act promotes research, development and education programs to develop chemical processes that minimize the impact to our environment, and often end up saving companies money at the same time," said Senator Collins. "Using "green chemistry" in chemical manufacturing prevents the production of hazardous waste in the first place, eliminating the need for companies and the public to worry about cleaning up dangerous waste products. Companies right here in Maine already use some green chemistry processes and they are ready to adopt new technologies. This bill will help develop more and better techniques, while also educating the next generation of chemistry professionals about green chemistry." 

The bill also provides grant funding for private sector and academic projects for environmentally friendly chemicals. As noted previously, the private sector has demonstrated the initial success in developing and implementing the principals of green chemistry. The private sector should continue to lead this industry with the support of government agencies and public resources. 

"This legislation will help motivate new investment in green chemistry, allowing scientists and engineers to advance a cleaner, safer generation of chemicals and materials for our marketplace," Senator Pryor said. "I commend Senators Snowe and Rockefeller for their foresight and leadership in this arena and look forward to helping them advance this legislation in the Senate." 

Senator Snowe added, "Improving energy efficiencies is the initial mechanism to advance our energy policy. It is not logical to suggest that the United States develop additional capacity only to waste the energy on inefficient products, infrastructure and processes. Green chemistry represents a viable method of reducing the need for virgin materials, the demand of energy, and the production of waste," she continued.