Sens. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) and Barbara Boxer (D-Calif.) will announce tomorrow that they will introduce “comprehensive legislation on climate change.”
Sanders and Boxer will be joined in the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee hearing room by Bill McKibben, founder of 350.org; Mike Brune, executive director of Sierra Club; Tara McGuiness, executive director of the Center for American Progress Action Fund; Tyson Slocum, Public Citizen’s energy director; and David Bradley, National Community Action Foundation executive director.
Under the legislation, according to Sanders’ office, “a fee on carbon pollution emissions would fund historic investments in energy efficiency and sustainable energy technologies such as wind, solar, geothermal and biomass.”
During last night’s State of the Union address, President Obama vowed to use executive actions on climate change “for the sake of our children and our future.”
“Now, it’s true that no single event makes a trend. But the fact is the 12 hottest years on record have all come in the last 15. Heat waves, droughts, wildfires, floods — all are now more frequent and more intense. We can choose to believe that Superstorm Sandy, and the most severe drought in decades, and the worst wildfires some states have ever seen were all just a freak coincidence. Or we can choose to believe in the overwhelming judgment of science — and act before it’s too late,” Obama said.
“…If Congress won’t act soon to protect future generations, I will,” he continued. “I will direct my Cabinet to come up with executive actions we can take, now and in the future, to reduce pollution, prepare our communities for the consequences of climate change, and speed the transition to more sustainable sources of energy.”
“The president is right – we must do more to combat climate change, and Superstorm Sandy was a wake-up call,” Boxer said. “It is happening before our eyes, the science is clear, and we must act before it is too late. I am committed to working with my colleagues on a comprehensive solution, and I strongly support the president’s efforts to move forward with executive actions to address this serious threat.”
Democrats reacted positively to that after the speech. House Natural Resources Committee Chairman Doc Hastings (R-Wash.), though, said it was more proof that Obama’s “all-of-the-above energy strategy” is a joke.
“By circumventing Congress through administrative fiat, the Obama Administration has the ability to lock up large swaths of public land from multiple use economic activity, slow federal energy production even further, and impose burdensome new layers of red tape that will destroy job creation potential for millions of American’s still looking for work,” Hastings said.