Bicameral Task Force on Climate Change
The Bicameral Task Force on Climate Change is co-chaired by Reps. Henry A. Waxman, Bobby L. Rush, and Earl Blumenauer and Senators Sheldon Whitehouse, Ed Markey, and Ben Cardin. The purpose of the task force is to focus congressional and public attention on climate change and to develop effective policy responses to this urgent challenge.
February 20, 2014
Rep. Henry A. Waxman and Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse sent a letter to Sen. John McCain and former Speaker of the House Newt Gingrich responding to their criticisms of Secretary of State John Kerry’s recent speech in Indonesia on the dangers of climate change.
January 31, 2014
Bicameral Task Force on Climate Change Co-Chairs Rep. Henry A. Waxman and Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse commented on the State Department release of the final supplemental environmental impact statement of the Keystone XL tar sands pipeline. The statement includes projections of the carbon pollution impacts of the Keystone XL pipeline based on expected values for oil prices, tar sands production costs, transportation costs, supply-demand assumptions, and other pipelines, as well as projections of the carbon pollution impacts under alternative scenarios to account for the uncertainty in each of these factors.
Bicameral Task Force Co-Chairs Hear from Panel of Shishmaref, Alaska Natives on Impact of Coastal Erosion on Local Villages
January 14, 2014
Rep. Henry A. Waxman and Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse, co-chairs of the Bicameral Task Force on Climate Change, hosted representatives from the Alaskan village of Shishmaref to discuss how climate change is threatening their home. Shishmaref is an Inupiat Eskimo village located on a small barrier island five miles from mainland Alaska. It is one of more than 30 Alaskan villages that are falling victim to climate change-related coastal erosion, permafrost melt, and flooding. About a dozen of these villages are in the process of relocating to less-vulnerable areas of Alaska.
December 19, 2013
Following recent reports that John Podesta may be primed to push for “aggressive executive action on climate change” in his new role as White House counselor, the Bicameral Task Force on Climate Change released a white paper recommending concrete steps the Department of the Interior (DOI) should take in carrying out the President’s Climate Action Plan.
November 21, 2013
On Thursday, November 21, 2013, Rep. Henry A. Waxman and Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse, co-chairs of the Bicameral Task Force on Climate Change, will host representatives from five of America’s major sports leagues, as well as the U.S. Olympic Committee (USOC), to discuss the effects of climate change on sporting activities and the work these organizations are doing to reduce their greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions.
Bicameral Task Force on Climate Change Co-Chairs Release First Comprehensive State-Level Polling Data on Climate Change
November 13, 2013
Rep. Henry A. Waxman and Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse, co-chairs of the Bicameral Task Force on Climate Change, released new state-by-state data on Americans’ views on climate change. The new polling data shows how Americans in different states view the issue of climate change and specific policies to cut greenhouse gas emissions. The data was prepared by Stanford University Professor Jon Krosnick.
Fact sheets detailing data for 46 states are available here.
November 12, 2013
On Wednesday, November 13, 2013, the Bicameral Task Force on Climate Change will host Stanford Professor Jon Krosnick to discuss Americans' opinions on climate change. Professor Krosnick will present new data on the opinions of people living in nearly all U.S. states on key questions related to the existence, causes, and threat of climate change, whether actions should be taken to address it, and opinions about specific policies to cut greenhouse gas emissions.
Additional information is available online here.
The co-chairs of the Bicameral Task Force on Climate Change, Rep. Henry A. Waxman, Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse, Rep. Bobby L. Rush, Sen. Ben Cardin, Rep. Earl Blumenauer, and Sen. Edward J. Markey, sent a letter to Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg, Former Treasury Secretary Hank Paulson, and Tom Steyer to commend their Risky Business initiative, which will assess the potential impacts of climate change on each region and sector of the U.S. economy and provide information about how to calculate climate change risk. The initiative’s three leaders announced their plans in a recent op-ed in the Washington Post.
September 20, 2013
The co-chairs of the Bicameral Task Force on Climate Change applauded newly proposed limits from the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) on carbon pollution from new power plants. The proposed rules would apply to coal and natural gas-fired power plants built in the future and would help reduce the carbon pollution that is contributing to global climate change.
September 12, 2013
The Bicameral Task Force on Climate Change hosted a forum with agriculture and renewable energy leaders to discuss climate change and its impact on agriculture. Agriculture is critical to the U.S. economy and is acutely vulnerable to climate change.
Additional information is available online here.
August 6, 2013
The Bicameral Task Force on Climate Change released a white paper recommending 20 concrete steps the Department of Energy should take in carrying out the President’s Climate Action Plan. The recommendations include strengthening specific energy efficiency standards, accelerating the development and deployment of low-carbon energy technologies, expanding the use of energy savings performance contracts to save energy at federal facilities, encouraging reforms in state building codes and utility rate structures, maximizing the contribution of power marketing administrations, and analyzing the climate change impacts of liquefied natural gas exports.
July 29, 2013
On July 30, 2013, the Bicameral Task Force on Climate Change convened a Climate and Wildfires Forum with Firefighters, State Foresters, and the U.S. Forest Service. Additional information is available online here.
July 26, 2013
The Bicameral Task Force on Climate Change released the second fact sheet in the Clean Energy Breakthroughs series, examining emerging energy technologies and their importance to a clean energy economy of the future. The fact sheet examines two grid-scale energy storage technologies: a compressed air technology and a rechargeable zinc battery.
The fact sheet is available online here.
July 25, 2013
The Co-Chairs of the Bicameral Task Force on Climate Change applauded President Obama’s plans to address climate change by limiting carbon pollution from existing and new power plants, developing new fuel efficiency standards for heavy-duty trucks, and setting new efficiency targets for appliances and buildings. The plan also provides financial assistance for carbon capture and storage projects and sets a new goal for the deployment of renewable energy on public lands. Finally, the plan will help American communities prepare for the effects of climate change that are already occurring and will strengthen our nation’s leadership on international efforts to combat global climate change.
Bicameral Climate Change Task Force Calls on President Obama to Address Climate Change in Upcoming Meeting with Chinese President Xi
The Co-Chairs of the Bicameral Task Force on Climate Change sent a letter to President Obama urging him to discuss joint action to address climate change with Chinese President Xi Jinping during the upcoming summit in California. The letter focuses on the opportunity for the United States and China to reach agreement to reduce the use of hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs), which are extremely potent heat-trapping gases.
May 30, 2013
The Bicameral Task Force on Climate Change launched a new series of fact sheets that will examine emerging energy technologies that could play a significant role in the clean energy economy of the future. Each fact sheet in the series, entitled Clean Energy Breakthroughs, will examine a technical challenge, describe the opportunities it presents, and highlight new technologies being developed to address the challenge. The first fact sheet in the series, available online here, examines the progress being made on grid-scale energy storage.
Rep. Waxman and Sen. Whitehouse Urge EPA to Reconsider Decision Not to Regulate Methane Emissions from Coal Mines
May 7, 2013
Representative Henry A. Waxman and Senator Sheldon Whitehouse sent a letter to Acting Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Administrator Bob Perciasepe urging the Agency to reconsider its decision not to regulate methane emissions from coal mines, the fourth largest source of methane emissions in the United States. Reducing methane emissions could delay warming of the atmosphere and provide much needed time for the transition to a clean-energy economy.
March 19, 2013
In January, the Bicameral Task Force on Climate Change wrote to over 300 businesses and organizations, soliciting their views on actions the federal government could take to reduce carbon pollution and strengthen our resiliency to climate change. Today, the Task Force released the responses they have received from six faith organizations: the Coalition on the Environment and Jewish Life and the Jewish Council for Public Affairs; the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops; the Friends Committee on National Legislation; the Evangelical Environmental Network; the National Council of the Churches of Christ; and Interfaith Power and Light.
February 25, 2013
The co-chairs of the Bicameral Task Force on Climate Change, Rep. Henry A. Waxman and Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse, joined by new co-chairs Rep. Ed Markey and Sen. Ben Cardin, wrote to nearly 70 Inspectors General throughout the federal government requesting input on what each agency, government corporation, or independent establishment can do to confront the growing threat of climate change. The letters ask for information on how each department or agency is currently responding to existing policies and directives that address climate change, as well as the authorities each office has, and potential steps they could take, to reduce emissions and strengthen the nation's resiliency to the impacts of climate change.
February 14, 2013
Every two years, the nonpartisan Government Accountability Office (GAO) releases its High Risk List, identifying the areas that pose the highest risk to the U.S. government. Today, GAO announced that for the first time, it is adding the fiscal exposure resulting from climate change to the High Risk List. In designating climate change as a high risk, GAO recognized that climate change threatens to inflict huge costs on the U.S. taxpayer, including damage to physical infrastructure, increased insurance liability, and disaster relief.
February 11, 2013
Ranking Member Henry A. Waxman was interviewed on C-SPAN's Washington Journal on Wednesday, February 6, 2013, to discuss new climate change policies and the creation of the Bicameral Climate Change Task Force. The complete interview is available here:
Courtesy of C-SPAN
January 31, 2013
The co-chairs of the Bicameral Task Force on Climate Change, Rep. Henry A. Waxman and Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse, wrote to over 300 businesses and organizations, soliciting their views on actions the federal government could take to reduce carbon pollution and strengthen our resiliency to climate change. The members have called for ideas for action that can be taken using the Administration’s existing authority as well as ideas that might need congressional approval. The members wrote to groups representing a wide range of key stakeholders, including industry, labor, nongovernmental organizations, academia, business and trade associations, and faith-based and public health groups.
January 24, 2013
As their first order of business, Task Force Co-Chairs Rep. Henry A. Waxman and Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse, joined by Rep. Ed Markey, sent a letter to President Obama applauding his recognition of climate change in his inaugural address, pledging to stand with him in the fight to address this issue, and urging him to develop a comprehensive climate change plan as expeditiously as possible.
Following President Obama’s recent statement in his inaugural address that failing to respond to the threat of climate change would “betray our children and future generations,” Rep. Henry A. Waxman and Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse today announced the formation of a bicameral Task Force on Climate Change to address this important issue.