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Public Statements

Letter to Chairman Upton and Chairman Whitfield

Letter

By:
Date:
Location: Unknown

Today Energy and Commerce Committee Ranking Member Henry A. Waxman and Energy and Power Subcommittee Ranking Member Bobby L. Rush sent a letter to Energy and Commerce Committee Chairman Fred Upton and Energy and Power Subcommittee Chairman Ed Whitfield urging them to hold a hearing on new data from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) showing that this winter has been much warmer than average, consistent with overall rising temperatures on a global scale.

Last year, all Republican members of the Committee voted against a simple amendment that recognized that warming of the climate is occurring. Representatives Waxman and Rush point out that "Denial of basic science is a serious obstacle for action to understand and address global climate change."

February 22, 2012

The Honorable Fred Upton
Chairman
Energy and Commerce Committee
U.S. House of Representatives
2125 Rayburn House Office Building
Washington, D.C. 20515

The Honorable Ed Whitfield
Chairman
Subcommittee on Energy and Power
U.S. House of Representatives
2125 Rayburn House Office Building
Washington, D.C. 20515

Dear Chairman Upton and Chairman Whitfield:

We are writing to urge you to hold a hearing on new data released by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) showing that this winter has been much warmer than average, consistent with overall rising temperatures on a global scale.

In January, the average temperature in the contiguous United States was 5.5 degrees above normal, making it the fourth warmest January on record.[1] So far, the first two months of winter have been the fourth warmest on record, with 22 states experiencing temperatures among their ten warmest.[2] The Northern Plains in particular has experienced warmer-than-normal temperatures. Temperatures in Minnesota were 10.1 degrees above average in December and January, the warmest such period on record.[3] On January 5, the temperature reached 61 degrees in Minot, North Dakota, and 71 degrees in Jackson County, South Dakota.[4]

These above-normal temperatures are part of a global trend. All eleven years in the 21st century so far (2001--2011) rank among the 13 warmest since record-keeping began in 1880.[5]

Denial of basic science is a serious obstacle for action to understand and address global climate change. Yet last year during debate on H.R. 910, all Republican members of the Committee voted against a simple amendment that recognized that warming of the climate is occurring. We therefore request that you convene a hearing to discuss the latest temperature trends to provide members with a more robust understanding of the scientific consensus around rising temperatures.

Sincerely,

Henry A. Waxman
Ranking Member

Bobby L. Rush
Ranking Member
Subcommittee on Energy and Power


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