Cantwell Holds Forum on Energy and Climate Change Addressing the Needs of Tomorrow
Climate Change Is the Most Urgent and Important Environmental Challenge Facing Our Generation
Today, U.S. Senator Maria Cantwell held a community forum on energy and climate change issues at the Jackson Federal Building. A diverse set of stakeholders discussed how global warming may impact Washington state, steps the federal government can take to boost clean energy, and how the Pacific Northwest can meet growing energy demands while reducing greenhouse gas emissions.
"Unfortunately, a certain degree of global warming and climate change is already happening, and will continue to happen over the next two or three decades," said Cantwell. "The federal government must stop and think about our future and the impacts of large scale change on our natural resources. Instead of sticking our heads in the sand, we need to do the work now so we're prepared for our future. Planning for the future isn't just common sense - it's responsible government."
Earlier this week in Seattle, Cantwell chaired an official Subcommittee on Oceans, Atmosphere, Fisheries and the Coast Guard hearing on the Effects of Climate Change on Marine and Coastal Ecosystems in Washington. During the hearing, Cantwell, Chair of the Subcommittee, received testimony from national and regional experts on the effects of climate change on the health of Puget Sound and oceans, and the impact rising sea levels could have on Washington state communities.
Climate change is the preeminent environmental issue facing the world. It is also a global challenge and requires a global solution. Greenhouse gas emissions have the same impact on the atmosphere whether they originate in Washington state, London or Beijing. Consequently, action by one country to reduce emissions will do little to slow global warming unless other countries act as well.
Cantwell has made making our nation's energy system cleaner, more efficient, and more diverse one of her top priorities. She leverages her membership on the Senate Energy, Commerce, and Finance Committees to push her vision of a clean energy economy and to support budding clean energy industries. Late last year, Cantwell introduced legislation that would direct the federal government to create a comprehensive plan for dealing with the consequences of climate change, especially when working together with state and local governments. That bill, the Climate Change Adaptation Act of 2007 (S. 2355), was unanimously approved by the Senate Commerce Committee on December 4, 2007.