Senator Boxer Builds Climate Change Clearinghouse: ‘We Are Going To Work On Supporting A Major Bill’

If we see any Congressional action on climate in 2013, it’s likely to come from the Democrat-controlled Senate.

In recent weeks, Senator Barbara Boxer (D-CA) has indicated that Democrats — and possibly some Republicans — will issue a series of small and large bills related to climate change in the 113th Congress.

“I think you are going to see a lot of bills on climate change,” said Boxer to reporters earlier this month. She said that three other Senators already have bills in the works for pricing carbon and adapting infrastructure to intensifying extreme weather.

As Chairwoman of the Environment and Public Works Committee, Boxer is attempting to leverage concerns about climate after Superstorm Sandy and build a coalition of climate-conscious lawmakers to craft legislation. Yesterday, she talked about creating a “clearinghouse” on climate to help organize efforts. The Hill reports:

Boxer said she will co-chair the clearinghouse alongside the chairmen of the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee and the Senate Foreign Relations Committee. Boxer first announced the idea earlier in December, and it crystallized further at a meeting Tuesday, she said.

“We are going to review the latest information, we are going to work on supporting a major bill, we are also going to work on various smaller provisions that we think will move us forward and focus on green jobs, energy efficiency and making sure that we get the carbon out of the air, and work with the administration on some executive stuff,” she said in the Capitol.“So I think it is going to be a very major and important clearinghouse because as the science comes in, we are going to take a look at that science so that we are all up to date,” Boxer added.

She said it would be an “open forum” that will provide lawmakers a chance to raise topics of interest to them — such as reports from their states and actions in state legislatures — and ask questions too.

The clearinghouse builds on President Obama’s comments in his first post-election press conference. Although Obama failed to give any details about how he might approach climate in his second term, he talked about the need to have “a wide-ranging conversation with scientists, engineers and elected officials” on how to reduce carbon. Boxer’s climate change clearinghouse would provide a central place for lawmakers to consider the latest science, thus laying the groundwork for possible legislation.

However, even as action builds in the Senate, extreme resistance to climate in the Republican-held House would likely stall momentum on any major pieces of legislation. The Koch-funded and founded Americans for Prosperity has convinced more than 180 House lawmakers to take its “no carbon tax pledge” — including all GOP leaders in the House.

7 Responses to Senator Boxer Builds Climate Change Clearinghouse: ‘We Are Going To Work On Supporting A Major Bill’

  1. prokaryotes says:

    Warming of the climate system is unequivocal but these fossil funded House Lawmakers deny the reality for profits, and put all of us and future generations in peril.

    Climate Change Studies: Less than 1% Reject Global Warming

  2. Mike Roddy says:

    I hope that Senators know where to go to access the most credible science on the subject. You and Joe would be good resources here- let’s hope Barbara takes advantage.

  3. Joan Savage says:

    The Clearinghouse is a strong move.

    As we know thanks to the updates at Climate Progress, the IPCC report is already out of date, and bringing Congress and their staff up to speed on the information is an urgent need.

    Voting out misguided “pledgers” who have backed themselves into corners on taxes or climate change can come more easily when alternate candidates can stump-speech with materials from the Clearinghouse.

  4. “We are going to review the latest information…and making sure that we get the carbon out of the air…”

    If they do the former, they might not be so certain about achieving the later. Getting the carbon out of the air is possible, or course, but it would take a far more radical agenda than Boxer and her colleagues in the Senate are likely to propose, nevertheless adapt.

    This is a positive step, but if it took Hurricane Sandy to wake the Senator up, she obviously doesn’t have much of a clue about the realities of climate change, or how far down the road to perdition we’ve come. By the time any well-intended programs her clearinghouse comes up with are watered down by the rest of the “People’s Representatives,” several more years shall have passed and we’ll be that much closer to the gates of Hell.

  5. What continually baffles me is, how can elected officials in a democracy be so eager to sign pledges that make them beholden to unelected, self-appointed authoritarians?

    If we don’t solve this crisis, a lot more of it will be on the heads of these obstructionist, lock-step non-thinkers than any under-informed Democrat.

  6. M Tucker says:

    Since all revenue generating or tax bills must originate in the House how would Boxer’s bill “for pricing carbon” work?

    “…making sure that we get the carbon out of the air.” When I hear talk like that it makes me think she is not very well informed. If she had said she was going to pass a bill to authorize planting trees or fighting the bark beetle I would be convinced of her seriousness. Otherwise it just sounds like another “resolution;” nothing more than a pledge to fight against global warming.

    Remember, it was the Senate that did nothing with the climate bill passed by the House under Pelosi. Then we have WV Senate Democrat Joe Manchin who has seen the light on gun control but campaigned against cap’n trade. Harry Reid knows his members and he can count votes so we should ask him about the chances of Boxer getting anything through the Senate.

  7. Mulga Mumblebrain says:

    Getting the carbon out of the atmosphere will be hard, and take decades, so, in the mean time we’d better, I think, concentrate on albedo restoration, and not by stratospheric injection of aerosols. What is the problem with painting roofs and other surfaces so that they reflect more solar radiation? It seems to my mind to be easy, relatively cheap, and a means by which to involve the masses in their own rescue.