Climate Change Hearing Requests

In the last Congress, Ranking Members Waxman and Rush sent 21 letters to Chairmen Upton and Whitfield requesting that the Committee hold hearings on climate change, including the latest science about the potentially catastrophic impacts of climate change and the urgent need for action to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. Chairmen Upton and Whitfield did not respond to these requests. 
 
In the 113th Congress, Ranking Members Waxman and Rush continue to push for Committee action on climate change and have sent 13 letters requesting hearings on this topic.  To date, the Committee has held one hearing on climate change in the 113th Congress.  
 
A summary and full text of each letter is below.

 

113th Congress

 

June 3, 2014

Ranking Members Waxman and Rush Call for Hearing on S&P Report on Climate Change

Ranking Member Henry A. Waxman and Energy and Power Subcommittee Ranking Member Bobby L. Rush sent a letter to Chairmen Fred Upton and Ed Whitfield to request a hearing on a recent report from Standard and Poor’s Rating Services warning about the climate impacts on sovereign credit ratings on countries around the world.  The report finds that the poorest countries will be disproportionately impacted.

May 8, 2014

Committee Democrats Call For Hearing on National Climate Assessment

Democrat members of the Energy and Commerce Committee sent a letter to Chairman Fred Upton requesting a hearing on the third National Climate Assessment, released earlier this week.  The National Climate Assessment is the most authoritative statement of the science on climate change impacts in the United States, and it confirms that climate change is real, is being caused by humans, and is already harming communities across America.

May 1, 2014

Ranking Members Waxman and Rush Call for Hearing on Latest Findings from IPCC Reports

Ranking Member Henry A. Waxman and Energy and Power Subcommittee Ranking Member Bobby L. Rush sent a letter to Chairmen Fred Upton and Ed Whitfield to request a hearing on the recent reports from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) on climate change impacts and mitigation.  The authoritative reports confirm that climate change is happening and everyone is vulnerable to its impacts.  The science shows that the failure to act quickly to reduce carbon pollution will result in dangerous atmospheric concentrations of carbon pollution, temperature increases, and mounting costs.

February 18, 2014

California Democratic Delegation Calls for Hearing on California Drought

Energy and Commerce Committee Ranking Member Henry A. Waxman, Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi, and 35 Democratic members of the California congressional delegation sent a letter to Chairmen Fred Upton and Ed Whitfield strongly urging them to hold a hearing on the connection between climate change and the severe drought in the West.  

December 17, 2013

Ranking Members Waxman and Rush Call for Hearings on Methane Emissions

Ranking Member Henry A. Waxman and Energy and Power Subcommittee Ranking Member Bobby L. Rush sent a letter to Chairmen Fred Upton and Ed Whitfield requesting that the Committee hold hearings on methane emissions from the oil and gas sector.

November 12, 2013

Ranking Members Waxman and Rush Request Hearing on Extreme Storms and Climate Change

Ranking Member Henry A. Waxman and Energy and Power Subcommittee Ranking Member Bobby L. Rush sent a letter to Chairmen Fred Upton and Ed Whitfield requesting that the Committee hear from experts about the relationship between climate change and extreme storms causing immense damage, like Typhoon Haiyan in the Philippines. 

October 21, 2013

Reps. Waxman and Rush Call for Hearing on New IPCC Report

Ranking Member Henry A. Waxman and Energy and Power Subcommittee Ranking Member Bobby L. Rush sent a letter to Chairmen Fred Upton and Ed Whitfield requesting that the Committee hold a hearing on the new Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) report, which finds that warming of the climate system is “unequivocal” and that humans are the primary driver of the warming.  The Committee held its first hearing on climate change in the 113th Congress on September 18 with Energy Secretary Ernest Moniz and EPA Administrator Gina McCarthy.

June 14, 2013

Ranking Members Waxman and Rush Request Hearing on New IEA Report on Temperature Increases, Recommendations to Address Climate Change

Energy and Commerce Committee Ranking Member Henry A. Waxman and Energy and Power Subcommittee Ranking Member Bobby L. Rush sent a letter to Chairmen Fred Upton and Ed Whitfield to request a hearing on a new report from the International Energy Agency (IEA).  The report finds that the world is not on track to meet the goal of limiting global average temperature rise to below 3.6 degrees Fahrenheit, the level necessary to prevent devastating impacts of climate change.  In fact, under current policies more than 9 degrees Fahrenheit of warming may occur in the coming decades.

May 29, 2013

Ranking Members Waxman and Rush Call for Hearing on Potentially Catastrophic Economic Impacts of Climate Change

Energy and Commerce Committee Ranking Members Waxman and Rush sent a letter to Chairmen Upton and Whitfield to request a hearing on the potential economic impacts of climate change in the developed and developing worlds.  Last week, the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) released a report showing that continued delay in reducing carbon pollution could result in catastrophic global economic impacts, consistent with recent reports released by the United Nations Development Programme and the World Economic Forum.

April 9, 2013

Ranking Members Waxman and Rush Renew Request for Hearings on Science of Climate Change

Energy and Commerce Committee Ranking Member Henry A. Waxman and Energy and Power Subcommittee Ranking Member Bobby L. Rush sent a letter to Chairmen Fred Upton and Ed Whitfield to reiterate their request for hearings to hear from respected climate scientists about the urgent need to reduce carbon pollution and the likely impacts of unabated climate change on human health, the environment, and the economy. 

March 15, 2013

Ranking Members Waxman and Rush Request Testimony from Scientists on Urgent Threat of Climate Change

Energy and Commerce Committee Ranking Member Henry A. Waxman and Energy and Power Subcommittee Ranking Member Bobby L. Rush sent a letter to Chairmen Fred Upton and Ed Whitfield requesting a hearing with scientists and other experts on the need for action to address climate change, following a hearing earlier this month featuring testimony from utilities on the EPA’s proposed carbon standards for new power plants.  

March 11, 2013

Ranking Members Waxman and Rush Call for Hearing on U.S. Greenhouse Emissions Trends

Ranking Members Waxman and Rush requested a hearing on U.S. trends in greenhouse gas emissions.  The hearing request seeks to correct assertions by Chairman Whitfield in recent Committee proceedings that additional legislative or regulatory actions to combat carbon emissions are unnecessary.  Although carbon emissions from fossil fuel combustion fell in 2012, the United States is not on track to reduce all greenhouse gas emissions by the amount needed to avert dangerous climate change. 

February 26, 2013

Ranking Members Waxman and Rush Call for Hearing on Designation of Climate Change on GAO High Risk List

Ranking Members Waxman and Rush requested a hearing on the Government Accountability Office’s (GAO) inclusion of climate change to its High Risk List.  

 

112th Congress 

 

December 11, 2012

Ranking Members Waxman and Rush Call for Hearing on Rate of Decarbonization and Global Warming

Ranking Members Waxman and Rush requested a hearing on the PriceWaterhouseCoopers (PwC) Low Carbon Economy Index report on the necessary rate of decarbonization to limit global warming.

November 19, 2012

Ranking Members Waxman and Rush Call for Hearing on Sobering World Bank Climate Report

Ranking Members Waxman and Rush requested a hearing on an important, new World Bank report that details the “devastating” impacts of climate change.  The report, ”Turn Down the Heat: Why a 4°C Warmer World Must be Avoided,” detailed what the world would be like with warming of 4 degrees Celsius before the end of the century.

November 14, 2012

Ranking Members Waxman and Rush Call for Hearing on Relationship Between Climate Change and National Security

Ranking Members Waxman and Rush requested a hearing on an important, new report that examines the connections between national security and climate change.  The report, released by the National Research Council of the National Academies, found that the government should immediately begin to develop a strategy to monitor threats connected to climate change, as potentially disruptive environmental events are expected to increase in frequency and intensity. 

October 31, 2012

Ranking Members Waxman and Rush Call on Committee Republicans to Hold Hearing on Hurricane Sandy and Climate Change

Ranking Members Waxman and Rush requested a hearing on Hurricane Sandy, extreme weather events, and climate change.  Hurricane Sandy is the type of extreme weather event that climate scientists say will become more common if we fail to reduce our carbon pollution. 

September 14, 2012

Ranking Members Waxman and Rush Renew Request for Hearing on Climate Change’s Effects on Ocean Acidification

Ranking Members Waxman and Rush requested a hearing on ocean acidification and its damage to sensitive marine ecosystems and species.  The warming and acidification of the oceans are causing rapid declines in oyster production, endangering the already critically injured North Atlantic right whale, and affecting deep sea marine life.

September 10, 2012

Ranking Members Waxman and Rush Request Hearing on Impact of Climate Change on Electricity Sector

Ranking Members Waxman and Rush requested a hearing on the impact of climate change on the nation’s energy generation.  Recent reports indicated record-breaking heat and drought conditions are forcing power plant operators to use less water to operate hydroelectric, coal-fired, and nuclear power plants, resulting in the shutdown of some nuclear plants as cooling water becomes either too warm or too scarce. 

July 13, 2012

Ranking Members Waxman and Rush Urge Committee to Hold Hearing on Climate Change as the Nation Battles Wildfires and Extreme Weather

Ranking Members Waxman and Rush requested a hearing on the dangers of climate change.  Specifically, the members requested a hearing on the recent wildfires and extreme weather events the United States has experienced and the role global climate change has played in these events.

June 4, 2012

Ranking Members Waxman and Rush Call for Hearing on Carbon Capture and Sequestration Developments

Ranking Members Waxman and Rush requested a hearing on new information on the potential role of carbon capture and sequestration (CCS) to control carbon pollution and to provide for the clean use of coal in the future.

May 14, 2012

Reps. Waxman, Rush, and DeGette Call for Hearing on Natural Gas Flaring

Ranking Members Waxman, Rush, and DeGette renewed a request for a hearing on the practice of natural gas flaring at oil production facilities in the U.S. and its potential energy and environmental impact.  The request followed a recent report that the U.S. shale boom caused global gas flaring to rise in 2011, reversing a downward trend.  The United States now falls in the top 10 countries for natural gas flaring, along with Russia, Nigeria, and Iraq.

April 30, 2012

Ranking Members Waxman and Rush Request Hearing on IEA Report Recommending Immediate Action to Combat Worst Impacts of Climate Change

Ranking Members Waxman and Rush requested a hearing on findings by the International Energy Agency (IEA) that suggested the transition to a low-carbon energy system is happening too slowly to prevent the worst impacts of climate change.

April 12, 2012

Ranking Members Waxman and Rush Call for Hearing on Role of Global Climate Change in March Heat Wave

Ranking Members Waxman and Rush requested a hearing on the link between global climate change and the unprecedented March heat wave across the contiguous United States.  Data from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration indicated that March 2012 was the warmest March on record with temperatures breaking more than 15,000 records.

March 21, 2012

Ranking Members Waxman and Rush Call for Hearing on Carbon Dioxide Emissions’ Effects on Oceans

Ranking Members Waxman and Rush requested a hearing on the rapid acidifying of oceans due to rising emissions of carbon dioxide.  Studies from Columbia University, the University of Bristol, and others concluded that, due to carbon dioxide emissions, ocean acidification is occurring much faster than at any other point in Earth’s history, perhaps causing unprecedented marine ecosystem change.

February 22, 2012

Ranking Members Waxman and Rush Call for Hearing on NOAA Data on Rising Temperatures Worldwide

Ranking Members Waxman and Rush requested a hearing on new data from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) that showed the 2011-2012 winter has been much warmer than average, consistent with overall rising temperatures on a global scale.

January 26, 2012

Ranking Members Waxman and Rush Call for Hearing on IPCC Report on Climate Extremes Caused by Climate Change

Ranking Members Waxman and Rush requested a hearing on a recent report by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), which found that increases in concentrations of greenhouse gases have contributed to recent climate extremes.  A hearing would allow members to hear expert testimony on the economic and human effects of climate change, tied to the record droughts, heavy rains, weather-related disasters, and heat waves that occurred across the United States this year. 

January 19, 2012

Ranking Members Waxman and Rush Call for Hearing on Permafrost Thawing, Increase in Carbon and Methane Emissions

Ranking Members Waxman and Rush requested a hearing on new reports of thawing permafrost in the Northern Hemisphere and the potentially dangerous levels of methane and carbon it could release into the atmosphere.

November 18, 2011

Ranking Members Waxman and Rush Call for Hearing on New IEA Analysis: World Has Five Years to Combat Irreversible Climate Change

Ranking Members Waxman and Rush requested a hearing on a new analysis by the International Energy Agency (IEA) that found failure to take action to prevent climate change in the next five years will likely commit the world to large temperature increases and likely devastating effects.

November 10, 2011

Reps. Waxman and Rush Request Hearing on New Economic Analysis of Economic Costs of Air Pollution from Coal- and Oil-Fired Power Plants

Ranking Members Waxman and Rush requested a hearing on a new analysis by Yale University and Middlebury College economists, entitled Environmental Accounting for Pollution in the United States Economy.  The analysis found that the economic costs of air pollution from coal-fired and oil-fired power plants outweigh the economic value these sources add to the economy, which indicates that stronger pollution control regulations would strengthen our national wellbeing.

November 4, 2011

Ranking Members Waxman and Rush Request Hearing on Impact of Global Warming on Crop Yields

Ranking Members Waxman and Rush requested hearings on important new developments in climate change science.  The latest science indicated that crop yields, agricultural areas, and consumers are experiencing the adverse effects of climate change and are expected to face more acute challenges as temperatures continue to rise.

October 28, 2011

Ranking Members Waxman and Rush Call for Hearing on New Analysis of Climate Change Science

Ranking Members Waxman and Rush requested a hearing to examine an important new analysis by the Berkeley Earth Surface Temperature Project.  This analysis, led by Richard Muller, a prominent climate skeptic, found that “global warming is real.” 

October 13, 2011

Rep. Waxman and Rep. Rush Call for Hearing on North Dakota Natural Gas Flaring

Ranking Members Waxman and Rush requested a hearing to assess natural gas flaring practices in North Dakota and their potential energy and environmental consequences. The request followed a recent news report on the wasteful process of burning natural gas in North Dakota.

May 23, 2011

Reps. Waxman and Rush Request Hearing on Climate Change Science

Ranking Members Waxman and Rush requested a hearing on two new reports on climate change from the National Academy of Sciences and the Vatican, which found that climate change is occurring and that urgent action is needed to address its dangers.