“We can’t delay action any longer. We want to jumpstart action by seeking recommendations on what every part of government can do now.”
--- Rep. Henry Waxman (D-CA)
On January 31, Representative Henry Waxman and Senator Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI) sent letters to over 300 businesses, labor unions, environmental organizations, universities, and think tanks, soliciting views on “ideas for actions the federal government can take to address climate change” as well as “suggestions for new authorities to be enacted by Congress.”
Just days after the President Obama’s Inaugural Address, Representative Waxman, Ranking Member of the House Committee on Energy & Commerce, and Senator Whitehouse, Chairman of the Senate Environment & Public Works Subcommittee on Oversight, formed a new Bicameral Climate Change Task Force to raise public awareness and support the Obama Administration’s use of existing federal authority to address climate change. As the co-chairs of the Task Force acknowledge, enactment of legislation to address climate change is extremely unlikely in the current Congress. Focused instead on opportunities in the Executive Branch, the Task Force’s first official act was to send a letter to President Obama, applauding him for his focus on climate change and urging him to develop and enact a comprehensive climate change plan, using existing authorities. President Obama, in both his Inaugural and State of the Union Addresses, renewed his call to combat climate change, through regulation if legislation is not possible.
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