Democrats Focus on Global Warming

I think its important for Congress to hold hearings on the issue of global climate change so that each involved party has an opportunity to air their research and opinions on the topic. As I've said before, we cannot begin making constructive policy on greenhouse emissions until the global warming debate is over.

Here are some quotes from an MSNBC report on the hearings held by Democrats in Congress on global climate change that I found particularly interesting...

"Lawmakers received survey results of federal scientists that showed 46 percent felt pressure to eliminate the words “climate change,” “global warming” or similar terms from communications about their work."

'"We know that the White House possesses documents that contain evidence of an attempt by senior administration officials to mislead the public by injecting doubt into the science of global warming and minimize the potential danger," Waxman added."

"Hearing witnesses included a NASA official and a former senior official of the office that coordinates the government’s climate programs. That former official, Rick Piltz, quit his job in 2005, charging that scientists’ climate documents were being edited by political appointees to tone them down"

"In the Senate, Barbara Boxer, D-Calif., was holding an open meeting Tuesday for her colleagues to express their views on climate change, in advance of a broader set of hearings on the issue."

"Among those to make comments were two presidential hopefuls — Sens. John McCain, R-Ariz., and Barack Obama, D-Ill. Both lawmakers favor mandatory reductions in greenhouse gas emissions, something opposed by President Bush, who argues such requirements would threaten economic growth."

"In the House, Speaker Nancy Pelosi wants to create a new select-committee to hold hearings and recommend actions on climate change. That proposal has been met with resistance from chairmen of committees with jurisdiction over various aspects of the matter, but nevertheless has indicated the new importance the issue has taken in Congress."

I know that the hearings on interference by administration officials in the scientists' work is politically motivated. I, however, don't necessarily have a problem with that. In the United States, free movement of information is crucial to government accountability. I don't like the idea of scientist reports being censored to appease lobbyists and campaign contributors.

What is the most promising is the bi-partisan efforts to curb greenhouse gases by requiring auto makers to increase emissions standards. Wouldn't it be great if your car got more gas mileage? Imagine only having to stop at the gas station once a month! Imagine what you could do with the savings! Imagine driving home at night and being able to see the sky and not the smog! The interesting thing is that we have the technology to significantly improve gas mileage and nothing has been done for decades to raise requirements.
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