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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
DATE: June 7, 2001
CONTACT: Craig Cheslog, Redefining Progress
510-444-3041

UNITED STATES HAS AN OBLIGATION TO ACT ON CLIMATE CHANGE
IN WAKE OF NATIONAL ACADEMY OF SCIENCES REPORT

OAKLAND, Calif.—The National Academy of Sciences report confirming that climate change is a reality now should inspire the Bush Administration to get serious about dealing with it. The White House must abandon its current energy recommendations that will increase the combustion of fossil fuels and make climate change worse.

"There can be no more excuses. Climate change is real, is happening now, and is affecting people in the United States and around the globe today," said Redefining Progress Executive Director Joanne Kliejunas. "Denial and obstructions can no longer be tolerated by the American people. We can no longer ignore that Americans are in harm's way. The Bush Administration has a duty to confront and reduce our nation's fossil fuel addiction."

The White House asked the National Academy of Sciences to make a report as part of its ongoing policy review before international discussions about global warming that begin next week. The report notes that global temperatures are rising and that these increases are "likely mostly due to human activities."

Redefining Progress has found that low-income households, people of color, and tribal populations are most affected by climate change. Already burdened with poor air quality and twice as likely to be uninsured as whites, these American communities are even more vulnerable to respiratory ailments, heat-related illness and death, and illnesses from insect-carried diseases caused by advancing global warming. Climate change will also likely raise food and energy prices, which represent a large proportion of a low-income family's budget. (For more information, read "What's Fair? Consumers and Climate Change".)

"This report on climate change is the latest indication that the United States must seek treatment for its addiction to oil, coal, and natural gas," said Kliejunas. "Failing to address climate change will lead to a future of continuing price shocks, greater dependency on foreign energy sources, and increased greenhouse gas emissions while causing health and economic hardships for American households."

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