Statement From Senator Bernie Sanders at Energy and Natural Resources Committee Meeting on Climate Change

Chairman Bingaman, Ranking Member Domenici, thank you for holding this hearing today.While I and millions and millions of Americans all across the country had hoped that the President would finally provide bold leadership on global warming last night, it simply did not happen. We all know that when he initially ran for President, Mr. Bush committed to a cap on the level of greenhouse gases emitted and we also know that shortly after taking office, he went back on that commitment and has fail

Chairman Bingaman, Ranking Member Domenici, thank you for holding this hearing today.While I and millions and millions of Americans all across the country had hoped that the President would finally provide bold leadership on global warming last night, it simply did not happen. We all know that when he initially ran for President, Mr. Bush committed to a cap on the level of greenhouse gases emitted and we also know that shortly after taking office, he went back on that commitment and has failed the public on this most pressing national security, public health and environmental issue ever since. Well, today, it is clear that the President has marginalized himself even more than in the past. Over the last two weeks, three global warming proposals have been introduced in the US Senate, including S. 309, a bill I submitted and which already has the support of 10 of my colleagues. Additionally, earlier this week ten corporations, including Alcoa, Caterpillar, Duke Energy, and of course PNM Resources who is represented here today joined environmental non-profits in putting forward A Call for Action, a set of principles to guide global warming legislation. There is no getting around the fact that the Partnerships vision will be seen as a turning point in the national discussion on climate change. And finally, the grassroots support for action on climate change is widely known, with over 300 mayors having already signed up their cities to meet the targets of the Kyoto protocol. I am not sure that it could be more clear: the American public is longing for bold and visionary leadership to confront global warming. While I wish the President would step up, I am not willing to wait for him to come along. Instead, I will push for Congress to pass meaningful legislation that is commensurate with the magnitude of the threat and I look forward to working with my colleagues, particularly Chairman Bingaman and other members of this Committee, to ensure that this happens.