I strongly believe that the U.S. Congress must begin to act now to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and curb global warming. The global scientific community agrees on the reality of this growing threat, and as the producer of roughly one-quarter of the world's greenhouse gas emissions - more than any other country - the United States has a responsibility to lead the way in reducing emissions. If America fails to take up the fight against global warming, then the rest of the world should not be expected to follow. However, I also believe that developing countries like China and India must work to curb their greenhouse gases.
Last year, the United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change released a report which found that global warming is unequivocal and that it is very likely (more than 90 percent probable) that human activity is responsible for most of the warming of the past 50 years. The report, which represents the most comprehensive and up-to-date climate research, also found that global atmospheric concentrations of carbon dioxide, methane and nitrous oxide have increased dramatically as a result of human activities, and average Arctic temperatures increased at almost twice the global average rate in the past 100 years.
As the Chairman of the House Interior Appropriations Subcommittee, with jurisdiction over the Environmental Protection Agency and federal land management agencies, I am determined to use the influence our committee has to accelerate the federal government's response to global climate change issues. In my first year as Chairman, we provided a substantial boost for federal Climate Change programs in the budgets of the Interior Department, the EPA and the U.S. Forest Service. Through these efforts I believe we can substantially increase the research base that will help our nation take the necessary actions including the reduction of reduce greenhouse gases.