Skip to comments.Senate Dems push climate change amendment (to defense authorization bill)
Posted on 12/04/2012 2:19:05 AM PST by Libloather
Senate Dems push climate change amendment
By Zack Colman - 12/03/12 11:12 PM ET
Senate Democrats are attempting to force a vote on climate change through an amendment to the defense authorization bill, according to a copy of the amendment obtained by The Hill.
Sen. Sheldon Whitehouses (D-R.I.) amendment calls for the U.S. to assess, plan for, and mitigate the security and strategic implications of climate change out of concern for national security.
Democrats might be looking for a vote of record by Republicans on climate change, thinking opposition to it would be cast in a negative light after Hurricane Sandy.
Many scientists have avoided saying climate change directly caused Hurricane Sandy. Numerous scientists have said, however, that the effects of climate change notably, rising sea levels and warmer waters contributed to the storms intensity.
It is unclear whether the amendment would be called on the floor. Republicans on Monday held up the defense bill, S. 3254, for three hours.
Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) apologized for the delay, saying it played into Democrats arguments for filibuster reform that Republicans oppose. He alluded to Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.) as the reason for the hold.
Green groups, such as the Sierra Club, are pushing for those rule changes. They contend Senate Republicans have used the filibuster to impede progress on bills that would address climate change.
If the amendment does get a vote, it would take the GOP head-on at the nexus of climate change and national security.
A significant number of Republicans question widely accepted scientific opinions on global warming and the extent of humans' contribution through greenhouse gas emissions.
At their convention in August, Republicans adopted a platform that critiized the White House National Security Strategy in 2010 for saying, The danger from climate change is real, urgent, and severe.
The platform said that said such a position, subordinates our national security interests to environmental, energy, and international health issues, and elevates climate change to the level of a severe threat equivalent to foreign aggression.
Whitehouses amendment, S.A. 3181, cites the National Security Strategys climate change warning. It also mentions the Defense Departments Quadrennial Defense Review, which outlined climate change as a national security threat.
Seth Larson, Whitehouses spokesman, confirmed the amendments submission.
Senator Whitehouse is deeply concerned about the effects climate change is having on our world, and looks for every opportunity to raise awareness of those effects. He felt that the debate over the defense authorization bill was a good opportunity to discuss these effects within the context of our national security, and to highlight the real risks that global climate change is creating for our armed services, Larson said in a Monday statement.
The amendments co-sponsors Democratic Sens. Barbara Boxer (Calif.), Jeff Merkley (Ore.), Frank Lautenberg (N.J.) and Bob Menendez (N.J.) all represent coastal states.
They, along with Whitehouse, have been vocal about the effects rising sea levels and warmer water temperatures associated with climate change have on their constituents.
Those warnings grew more acute after Sandy, which has destroyed tens of billions of dollars of infrastructure and personal property.
In a floor speech last month, Whitehouse commented that events like Sandy will become more frequent "if we do not recognize the need to reduce our greenhouse gas emissions and the need to prepare our infrastructure."
Sen. Ben Cardin (D-Md.), whose state was hit by Sandy, told The Hill last month that Senate Democrats would use every opportunity we can to secure a vote on climate change.
Hang tough, pubbies. I LOVE Rand Paul.
I would vote “No” on changing the climate. I can just see the Dems mucking things up and trying to “redistribute” rain to Nevada, heat to Alaska, and cold to Texas to try to make everything “fair”.
Just leave the climate dial alone!
They just want to restore the carbon exchanges so Soros and Algore can sell off what could be trillions of dollars worth of now worthless carbon credits.
This is crony capitalism (or is that larceny?) at its worst, and another untapped phase of The Looting of America.
The weather will do what it does regardless of what this guy thinks or does. The only difference will be whether we freeze in the dark or not.
The issue here is not climate change but the attaching of cockamamie amendments to bills where they don’t belong.
Defense authorization bills are particularly vulnerable to this sabotage, since a congress critter is obliged to vote yes on the bill to prevent being attacked in his home state by his opponents for “not voting for defense authorization.”
Last year, this armtwisting tactic gave us unlimited detention of American citizens without warrant and without recourse to an attorney.
Every single vote should be on ONE issue, and this nefarious practice by the congressional group that is out of power must be stopped. If that requires its own bill, so be it. One issue per bill.
If Art Buchwald were still alive, I’m sure he would advocate that Congress promulgate extensive legislation that expressly prohibits dangerous climate abnormalities such as Hurricanes, Tornadoes, Ice storms, Blizzards and several other natural phenomena to numerous to mention.
The only greenhouse gas emissions we need to worry about are coming from the a$$holes in Washington!