People are always lamenting the lack of small-scale, practical legislation that can address climate change without getting mired in polarized culture wars. Problem is, when legislators introduce bills like that, they're often completely ignored. It's the sexy, controversial stuff that gets attention.
So, in the name of bucking that trend, let me call out a bill just introduced by California Rep. Scott Peters (D). It's called the Super Pollutant Emissions Reduction Act, or SUPER Act. It's not particularly earth-shattering, but it is smart, and well-targeted. Basically, it would create a new federal task force to track, coordinate, and rationalize the various scattered efforts underway to reduce so-called "super pollutants."
What are super pollutants, you ask? They are greenhouse gases that produce much more warming, molecule-for-molecule, than carbon dioxide. However, unlike CO2, they have a short atmospheric lifecycle. When emitted, they hang out up there for anywhere from a few days to a few years and then drop back to earth. They include: black carbon, tropospheric ozone, methane, and hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs). Think of them as the Fast & Furious of the greenhouse-gas world.