US Senate to hold all-nighte climate change talkathon (Update)

Mar 10, 2014 by Michael Mathes
Senate Majority Leader Senator Harry Reid speaks to reporters on Capitol Hill March 5, 2014 in Washington

Dozens of lawmakers will try to push climate change higher up the US political agenda Monday, launching an all-night Senate session pushing for legislation to reduce the global warming threat.

At least 28 Democrats including Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid will participate in the session—mocked by Republicans as a stunt—from after the last vote Monday though until Tuesday morning.

The overnighter is the first major effort by the newly-created Climate Action Task Force in Congress, which wants to kick-start public debate on climate change.

"On Monday we'll be sending a clear message: it's time for Congress to wake up and get serious about addressing this issue," Senator Sheldon Whitehouse said in a statement.

The effort is backed by President Barack Obama, who has signalled he will use his executive authority wherever possible to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

But climate legislation is opposed by many Republicans—and some Democrats—and faces tough opposition in Congress

Obama "has taken steps in his first term and again in his second term and will continue to take steps to... reduce our carbon emissions," White House spokesman Jay Carney told reporters.

No Republicans are scheduled to participate in Monday nights marathon debate, highlighting the political divide.

The issue is especially touchy this year, as lawmakers kick off campaigning for the November mid-term elections, and legislation on the issue is unlikely to pass a divided Congress in 2014.

No major climate change legislation has become law in recent years, after an energy bill that would have established a cap and trade emissions system passed the Democratic-controlled House in 2009 but stalled in the Senate.

The House measure was seen as a contributing factor in Republicans seizing control of the chamber in the 2010 elections.

Democrats accuse Republicans of being in the pocket of big oil and gas companies and putting their heads in the sand when it comes to controling greenhouse gas emissions.

"Climate change is real, it is caused by humans, and it is solvable," said Senator Brian Schatz. "Congress must act."

Too 'alarmist,' Republicans warn

But Republicans attack Democrats for pushing pie-in-the-sky reforms like mandatory emission caps and environmental regulations that kill jobs.

Several conservatives in Congress openly question whether human activity plays a role in the planet's changing temperatures, rising sea levels or shifting storm patterns.

Republicans mocked the all-nighter as Democrats "talking to themselves" and noted that even though Democrats run the Senate, they will not introduce or debate any particular climate legislation.

In a pre-emptive strike, Senate Republican Jeff Sessions told the chamber Monday that "there has been a lot of exaggeration. There has been a lot of hype."

And he warned that the cost to the economy of programs proposed by Democrats would run into the hundreds of billions of dollars.

"I think it's time for us to be a bit more cautious, a bit less alarmist," he said.

The Union of Concerned Scientists, which praised the event, noted that Congress is already contending with effects of climate change, such as passing drought relief legislation, "even if some members dare not say the words."

"What we need is a much bigger national debate about how we can respond to the risks scientists have uncovered about climate change and how we can reduce emissions," said Angela Anderson, director of the alliance's Climate and Energy Program.

Explore further: US, British science academies: Climate change is real

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User comments : 12

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antigoracle
1.4 / 5 (11) Mar 10, 2014
Perhaps they could get Al "False Profit" Gore to bring his hockey schtick.
dav_daddy
1 / 5 (10) Mar 11, 2014
Or that clown who hid the emails and data showing that the warming has hit a plateau since 2001ish?
Howhot
4.3 / 5 (6) Mar 11, 2014
Perhaps they could get Al "False Profit" Gore to bring his hockey schtick.


The more democrats paste you rightwing flakes with the denier position, the better off dems will be in the future while the right eats crow.

Your "False Profit" non-sense falls on the deaf ears of history's loosers.
antigoracle
1.1 / 5 (7) Mar 13, 2014
Hey HowStupid, I support the Democrats.
But, I do feel sorry for the ignorant ones like you.
ryggesogn2
1 / 5 (6) Mar 13, 2014
Too bad they are not more concerned about more people working instead of sucking up more campaign cash from 'liberal' billionaires.
'Liberals' like campaign cash from billionaire 'liberal' hedge fund managers but despise the campaign cash from billionaires who create wealth employing people who make products people want to buy.
Agomemnon
1 / 5 (7) Mar 13, 2014
Perhaps they could get Al "False Profit" Gore to bring his hockey schtick.


The more democrats paste you rightwing flakes with the denier position, the better off dems will be in the future while the right eats crow.

Your "False Profit" non-sense falls on the deaf ears of history's loosers.


There has been no warming for 17 years (and counting).
Never mind the Dems and their Mansanto donors are poisoning the water supply.
Howhot
4.2 / 5 (5) Mar 15, 2014
"There has been no warming for 17 years (and counting)." So says the blind man to the black sheep.
ryggesogn2
1 / 5 (5) Mar 15, 2014
"If you want to score a contest between the Koch brothers and Harry Reid over who has contributed more to America, it doesn't seem close. The Koch brothers got wealthy creating productive industries that employ tens of thousands of people. Harry Reid got (obviously much less) wealthy as a career politician."
"Any one of the Koch brothers' many major philanthropic ventures — say, the $100 million to New York Presbyterian Hospital, or just the $35 million to the Smithsonian's National Museum of Natural History — will do more good than Harry Reid's constant maneuvers to try to protect his vulnerable incumbents."
"Reid didn't complain about a globe-trotting billionaire who made a mint through currency speculation spending more than $25 million trying to defeat President George W. Bush in 2004. By Reid's standard, George Soros was as robustly American as John Wayne."
http://nypost.com...bashers/
ryggesogn2
1 / 5 (5) Mar 15, 2014
"The left doesn't lack for people trying, in Reid's stilted terms, "to buy America." Green billionaire Tom Steyer has pledged to spend $100 million supporting Democrats this year. The billionaire Koch brothers can agitate against cap and trade, and billionaire Steyer can agitate for it. That's how a free system works."
"The old Saul Alinsky dictum is apt: "Pick the target, freeze it, personalize it and polarize it." In its piece on Reid's anti-Koch gambit, the Times reports, "The majority leader was particularly struck by a presentation during a recent Senate Democratic retreat, which emphasized that one of the best ways to draw an effective contrast is to pick a villain."

How high-minded. For a powerful national officeholder to stoop to such invective against private citizens seems bullying and itself vaguely un-American. But I defer to Harry Reid. He is the expert on American-ness."
http://nypost.com...bashers/
Captain Stumpy
5 / 5 (5) Mar 15, 2014
There has been no warming for 17 years (and counting)

@Agomemnon
at least you didnt call it a trend...
about the statement, however... you are calling attention that there has been "no" warming in certain areas, but you are not qualifying it with a statement that shows intellectual forethought, such as:
"except for the oceans"
http://news.disco...0411.htm
http://science.nb...say?lite
http://www.livesc...ing.html
http://centerforo...warming/
http://biology.du...ge3.html
given the above links, you can also say that making a blanket statement without researching the topic might be considered ... well... not very smart
Jimee
5 / 5 (4) Mar 20, 2014
If 97% of the experts said poison was bad for you, but 2-3% of the experts told you it was good for you, would you drink some?
ryggesogn2
1 / 5 (3) Mar 21, 2014
Jimmy, dosage makes the poison.
Who are the experts?