Participating in the progressive “filibreather” against the FY 2012 Interior and Environmental Agencies Appropriations Act (HR 2584), Rep. Henry Waxman (D-CA) criticized its anti-climate provisions. Waxman attacked the Republican leadership for passing legislation earlier this year to reverse the Environmental Protection Agency finding that climate pollution threatens public health. He also called out the Obama administration and the national news media for failing to explain the scientific threat of global warming and extreme weather, since it is something his “colleagues here in the House of Representatives” need to learn:
This year, we witnessed weather disaster after weather disaster. There have been massive floods, record-breaking fire, record-breaking droughts and now record-breaking heat waves. Yet earlier this year the House passed a bill that repealed EPA’s scientific finding that climate change is occurring. It’s caused by man and is a serious threat.
We don’t hear about the connection between these weather events and climate change and carbon emissions. We’re not hearing from it when we watch the daily news shows and we’re not hearing it from this administration. I just sent recently a letter to Secretary Chu, the Secretary of Energy, a Nobel Prize winner, asking him to speak out. We need to educate the American people so we can educate our colleagues here in the House of Representatives.
In this bill, the Republican majority wants to block EPA from issuing regulations to reduce carbon emissions from power plants and oil refineries that are causing this catastrophic climate change. The majority also wants to block regulations to cut carbon pollution from motor vehicles, even though these regulations help break our dangerous dependence on oil, save American families money and clean the air we breathe. This house can deny science, we can amend our nation’s laws, but we cannot rewrite the laws of nature. The longer we ignore the scientific reality that our actions are destabilizing the environment, destabilizing our climate, the more costly and disruptive our response will need to be and the more we endanger our children’s future.
“When we were debating carbon regulations earlier this year my colleagues on the other side of the aisle claim that they supported reductions in what they call ‘real air pollution,’ whatever that means.” Waxman continued. “But it turns out they’re gutting those protections as well.”
At e360, Joe Romm weighs in: “Obama’s overall record on energy and the environment deserves an F. Fundamentally he let die our best chance to preserve a livable climate and restore U.S. leadership in clean energy — without a serious fight.”