Energy and Power Subcommittee Democrats Urge Whitfield to Hold Hearing with Climate Scientists

Mar 1, 2011

Today Ranking Member Henry A. Waxman and Democratic Members of the Energy and Power Subcommittee, sent the following letter to Chairman Ed Whitfield requesting at least one additional day of hearings on the subject of EPA's greenhouse gas regulations in order to hear from scientific experts.  The full text of the letter is below.

March 1, 2011

The Honorable Ed Whitfield
Subcommittee on Energy and Power
U.S. House of Representatives
2125 Rayburn House Office Building
Washington, D.C. 20515 

Dear Chairman Upton and Chairman Whitfield: 

            Pursuant to clause 2(j)(1) of rule XI of the Rules of the House of Representatives, we are writing to request that at least one additional day of hearings be conducted on the subject of today's hearing on EPA's greenhouse gas regulations. We further request that this hearing be scheduled before the Subcommittee marks up legislation on this subject.

            In particular, we believe it is essential that the Subcommittee hear from our nation's leading scientific experts. At the Subcommittee's first hearing, Senator James Inhofe told the Subcommittee that he believes climate change is a "hoax." We believe the members should havethe opportunity to hear from top scientists on this subject and the implications of inaction before we are asked to vote on legislation premised on the assertion that carbon pollution is harmless.

            Last week, Ranking Members Henry Waxman and Bobby Rush asked that Professor Don Boesch, President of the University of Maryland Center for Environmental Science, be invited asa witness at today's hearing. He is one of the authors of the report "Global Climate Change Impacts in the United States," which was released by the U.S. Global Change Research Program. He is also a member a select group of scientific experts assembled by the National Academies of Science to assess practical approaches to responding to climate change. He would have told the Committee about the grave risks facing our economy if we do not reduce carbon pollution. Despite the relevance of his testimony and the absence of any witnesses with expertise on the economic costs of climate change, this request was denied.

            Ranking Members Waxman and Rush also wrote you and full Committee Chairman Fred Upton last week to ask for a hearing about new scientific research linking carbon pollution to an increase in extreme weather events like floods and droughts. If this research is accurate, the economic costs are potentially enormous. Yet to date, there has been no response to this request.

            These are the types of witnesses that the Subcommittee needs to hear from if we are to understand the implications of legislation like the draft Upton-Inhofe bill. That is why we are invoking our right under rule XI to request such a hearing.

            We look forward to setting a mutually acceptable time and place for the additional hearing to garner testimony from witnesses that we have selected, and we thank you for your consideration of our request.


Henry A. Waxman
Ranking Member

Bobby L. Rush
Ranking Member, Subcommittee on Energy and Power

John D. Dingell
Member of Congress

Edward J. Markey
Member of Congress

Eliot L. Engel
Member of Congress

Gene Green
Member of Congress

Lois Capps
Member of Congress

Michael F. Doyle
Member of Congress

Jay Inslee
Member of Congress

Jim Matheson
Member of Congress

The Honorable Fred Upton
Committee on Energy and Commerce