RELEASE: Center for American Progress, Manufacturers of Pollution Controls Applaud Senate Letter on Black Carbon

Washington, D.C. — Today, the Center for American Progress and the Manufacturers of Emission Controls Association, or MECA, issued statements of support for a letter sent by a group of U.S. senators urging action on black carbon emissions. Sen. Brian Schatz (D-HI) spearheaded a letter to Secretary of the Interior Sally Jewell calling on the Department of the Interior to lay the groundwork for action to prevent increased black carbon pollution in Alaska’s coastal waters. Sens. Sheldon Whitehouse (D- RI), Angus King (I-ME), Ed Markey (D-MA), Barbara Boxer (D-CA), Bernie Sanders (I-VT.) and Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) joined Sen. Schatz in writing the letter.

Black carbon, or soot, results from the incomplete combustion of fossil fuels and poses a unique threat to the Arctic region. Not only does black carbon increase atmospheric temperatures by absorbing heat from the sun when it is airborne, but also it settles on snow and sea ice, resulting in accelerated melting.

The senators call upon Secretary Jewell to ensure that the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management solicits information on the potential climate impact of black carbon pollution and available technologies to control that pollution as it prepares to propose updated air permitting regulations for off-shore drilling activities.

“Sen. Schatz and his colleagues are exactly right. The Arctic is warming twice as fast as the rest of the planet and black carbon is already responsible for one-third of that warming. We simply cannot afford to introduce new uncontrolled sources of black carbon into the Arctic,” said Greg Dotson, Vice President for Energy Policy at CAP. “If the administration listens to these senators and solicits the views of our leading scientists and our innovative pollution control companies, the Arctic will be better off.”

“We have the technology today to cut black carbon emissions from many of the engines associated with oil and gas exploration and production,” said Joe Kubsh, executive director of MECA. “Our trade association would welcome the opportunity to share information about available, cost-effective pollution controls, such as diesel particulate filters, as part of the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management rulemaking process.”

Click here to read the letter.

For more information on this topic or to speak with an expert, contact Tom Caiazza at  or 202.481.7141.

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Founded in 1976, MECA is a national association of companies that manufacture a variety of emission control technologies for cars, trucks, buses, and off-road vehicles and equipment, as well as stationary internal combustion engines. For more information on exhaust and evaporative emission control technologies, please visit MECA’s website at www.meca.org.