Democratic News

Three weeks ago, as part of its energy bill, a majority of the U.S. Senate went on the record for the first time acknowledging that global warming is real, and that Congress needs to take real action to address it.  In Sen. Bingaman’s view, that is a major step in the right direction for our nation.

 Two weeks ago, Senate Energy Chairman Pete Domenici announced that he will hold hearings on climate change.  He also said that he will work with Sen. Bingaman to build consensus on a policy to address the problem “through market-based limits and incentives that don’t harm our economy.

One week ago, in an interview broadcast on British television, President Bush said that climate change “is a significant, long-term issue that we’ve got to deal with.”  The President also acknowledged that climate change is “to a certain extent” man-made “if fossil fuels create greenhouse gases.”

Next week (Thursday, July 21, at 10:00 a.m. in Hart 216), the Senate Energy Committee will hold a hearing on “Climate Change Science and Economics.”  Two panels of witnesses will be asked to comment on the current state of climate science and the economic impacts associated with various proposals to reduce domestic greenhouse gas emissions.  Witnesses on the first panel (scientists) will discuss how policymakers can take account of remaining scientific uncertainty in designing sound policy responses. A second panel (economists) will examine different program designs to manage greenhouse gas emissions and possible economic effects associated with each.

If you cover climate, Hart 216 is where you’ll want to be next Thursday.  Marnie and I will save you a seat.

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NOTE:  The recently adopted Sense of the Senate finds, in part, that “there is a growing scientific consensus that human activity is a substantial cause of greenhouse gas accumulation in the atmosphere” and resolves that “It is the sense of the Senate that Congress should enact a comprehensive and effective national program of mandatory market-based limits and incentives on greenhouse gases that slow, stop and reverse the growth of such emissions at a rate and in a manner that 1) will not significantly harm the United States economy and 2) will encourage comparable action by other nations that are major trading partners and key contributors to global emissions.”

 

Bill Wicker

Democratic Communications Director

Senate Energy & Natural Resources

202.224.5243