Ted Kaufman - United States Senator for Delaware

In a floor speech honoring the nation's federal employees, Sen. Kaufman applauds Stephen Anderson for his work at the Environmental Protection Agency

November 3, 2009

Mr. KAUFMAN. Mr. President, I rise once again to honor the service of one of our country's great Federal employees. Today, during these uncertain times, the American people face many challenges--one of them we share in common with all people throughout the world. What I speak of is the threat posed by climate change.

Just this morning, in a special joint session, we heard German Chancellor Angela Merkel on the importance of working together internationally to address climate change. We have come so far in the past three decades but much more needs to be done. So much depends on our ability to address this problem, including the long-term stability of our economy and our national security.

Since its creation in 1970, the Environmental Protection Agency has been at the forefront of reversing climate change. This week's great Federal employee not only spent over 20 years at the Agency, he is also someone we can thank for his leadership in implementing a landmark agreement that has already helped slow down climate change.

When Dr. Stephen Andersen first came to the EPA in 1986, he already had over a decade of experience in the field of climate and ozone protection. During his first year as part of the EPA's Stratospheric Protection Team, he worked with Soviet scientists to negotiate a joint effort to map the ozone by satellite. This was the first-ever United States-Soviet joint mission in space.

The following year saw the adoption of the Montreal Protocol in 1987. This crucial international agreement led to dramatic reductions in the chemicals that contribute to ozone depletion.

Stephen began serving as cochair of the Montreal Protocol Technology and Economic Assessment Panel in 1988. He worked tirelessly to convince hundreds of military and industrial experts to phase out the use of ozone-depleting chemicals on a voluntary basis. Over the course of 20 years, the Montreal Protocol was so successful that it helped prevent annual emissions of 11 billion metric tons of carbon dioxide. According to a crucial study by a team of environmental scientists Stephen himself led, the Montreal Protocol may have delayed the impact of climate change by 7 to 12 years. That doesn't even count the effects of other reductions made as a result of the treaty's influence.

Stephen led an effort a few years ago to encourage several of the world's highest emitting nations to strengthen the original treaty. His leadership led to nine countries agreeing to speed up the elimination of hydrofluorocarbons.

Today, Stephen continues to work on the science of combating climate change. He has focused much of his energy on helping to create voluntary partnerships between the EPA and the business community in order to promote green practices.

Stephen won a Service to America Medal last year for his long and distinguished career as an outstanding public servant. I hope my colleagues will join me in honoring Dr. Stephen Andersen's service and that of all the dedicated employees of the Environmental Protection Agency. I know that as we continue making progress on this front, they will play an important role in America's global environmental leadership.

Print this Page E-mail this Page