WASHINGTON - April 5 - Mr. FEINGOLD: Mr. President, today the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee is holding a conference to delve into some of the policy questions that have delayed efforts to move forward with legislation addressing global warming. As many Americans have realized – even in the face of an absolute void of leadership from this current Administration – one of the greatest challenges currently facing us is how to reduce our contributions to global climate change before it is too late for changes to matter. In fact, the majority of the American public believes that they have an individual role to play in being a part of the solution. And the public is looking to us, their elected leaders, to provide the framework for change.
As many people know, Senators Lieberman and McCain have been the longtime champions of raising awareness of global warming. Today’s conference, under the leadership of Senators Domenici and Bingaman, demonstrates that more and more elected officials are willing to take a stand in recognizing the imminent need for action. Along with my constituents, I hope that the time will soon come when a majority of the U.S. Congress is willing to follow their lead.
On the heels of today’s conference, another Senate committee is scheduled to consider the issue of global warming. Tomorrow, the Commerce Committee’s Global Climate Change and Impacts subcommittee will hear about the Administration's approach to the issue. While the Administration favors developing and sharing new zero and low-carbon technologies with developing nations, I submit that our citizens are looking for bold action that addresses more than how we will help developing countries – they want to know what we plan to do domestically.
Mr. President, if there ever was a time when it was alright to ignore global warming, that time has long passed. We have got to get real about this issue – and getting real will require a commitment to reducing our dependence on oil instead of continually talking about opening up a wildlife refuge for oil drilling. For, if we continue turning our backs on the reality of climate change, we might as well be turning our backs on our grandchildren – and this is why I am optimistic that the U.S. Senate’s treatment of global warming is nearing its own tipping point, a point after which we will provide the leadership that our constituents are increasingly expecting from us.