A group of Senate Democrats are leading the push to “wake up Congress” on the need for action on climate change.
On Thursday, senators including Barbara Boxer (D-CA) and Sheldon Whitehouse, (D-RI) announced the creation of the Climate Action Task Force, a group whose goal will be to take an aggressive stance on climate change in Congress. The group, which includes 12 Democratic senators, will host public events and floor speeches, and also plans to collaborate with religious organizations and businesses that support action on climate change.
“Everybody gets it, except for Congress,” Boxer said.
She also said that right now, there isn’t enough support in the Senate for climate change measures the group would like to see get passed, so the group is making it one of its goals to increase that support. The group will also work to ensure efforts to undermine President Obama’s climate initiative don’t succeed, promote energy efficiency in federal buildings, and protect states with carbon taxes against efforts to roll back those regulations.
“I think obviously we are all committed to raising the profile on this issue,” Sen. Edward Markey (D-MA) said. “We know that many Republicans are going to try their best to repeal the administration’s authority to regulate greenhouse gases, and so we are going to band together and have a fight over those issues.”
Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid has come out in support of the group.
“I’m pleased that these and other Senators are coming together to bring greater attention to climate change and extreme weather and the need to do something about it,” he said.
So far, the group hasn’t staked a position on major issues such as the Keystone XL pipeline. They are planning to release a full agenda of issues they will address on Tuesday.