Sen. James Inhofe (R-Okla.) will travel to Copenhagen this week to tell delegates at the international climate talks that the Senate will not pass legislation to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. His aim is to sink a global climate deal by undermining the Obama administration’s pledge to cut the United States’ carbon levels as part of an international treaty.
But Sen. Barbara Boxer (D-Calif.), who chairs the Environment and Public Works Committee, is determined not to let Inhofe get the last word. “Pressing Senate business,” she says, prevents her from traveling to Copenhagen, so she just delivered the speech she was planning to give in Denmark in the EPW hearing room, and she’ll be circulating it to delegates in Copenhagen.
She titled the speech “America Is Acting on Global Warming,” and that’s the basic thrust of her message: that Inhofe and his Republican cohorts are simply wrong that America isn’t ready to tackle climate change.
“There are those, including my ranking member on the Environment and Public Works Committee, Sen. Inhofe, my friend, who are determined to claim that the U.S. will not take action to reduce global warming,” Boxer said. “Well, my good friend Sen. Inhofe is entitled to his opinion, but he’s not entitled to his own facts. I’m here today to set the record straight. America has already acted, we will continue to act, and we are doing more each day.”
She pointed to climate action by her home state of California, as well as regional cap-and-trade programs around the country. She also claimed — a bit optimistically — that climate activists are getting “better and better news from the Senate every day.”
Of course, if the developing countries in Copenhagen make good on their threat and preclude a global treaty by walking out of the climate talks, this could all be a moot point.