Senator Boxer Creates First U.S. Climate Change Caucus

Fri, 2012-12-14 10:36Farron Cousins
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Senator Boxer Creates First U.S. Climate Change Caucus

Senator Barbara Boxer (D-CA), Chairwoman of the Environment and Public Works Committee, announced earlier this week that she would be taking the initiative to form the first Climate Change Caucus in the U.S. Senate.  Boxer, long considered a champion of environmental causes, said that she decided to form the committee to address growing public concerns over the inaction of the federal government to address the threat of climate change.

The Hill quotes Senator Boxer talking about the new committee, “It is going to work with all the committees and all the committee chairmen to make sure we can move forward legislation that reduces carbon pollution and also works on mitigation and all of the other elements.

To date, the United States has not passed a single law or resolution addressing the threat of climate change, although several have been introduced.  The majority of these bills died in committee, while one, The American Clean Energy and Security Act of 2009, passed the House of Representatives but failed to get enough votes to pass in the Senate. 

Boxer says that some Democrats have expressed interest in the committee, and that she hopes she can get broad bipartisan support and membership for the new committee.

Boxer’s committee is certainly a step in the right direction for the United States, and will hopefully act as a counter-balance to the dirty energy industry funded “House Energy Action Team” that was formed by Republican representatives last year.  That committee is made up of climate change deniers whose campaigns are heavily influenced by dirty energy money, and pushes the expanded consumption and exploitation of fossil fuels over renewable, clean energy.

The new committee is also a welcome change to the “climate silence” that purveyed throughout this year’s U.S. presidential election, where both major party candidates failed to address the issue of climate change on a public scale.  However, shortly after his re-election, President Obama told the public in a press conference that addressing climate change would be one of his administration’s goals during his second, and last, term in office.

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On June 6, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit handed down a ruling that will serve as important precedent for the ongoing federal legal battles over the Keystone XL and Flanagan South tar sands pipelines.

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