12.08.15

Peters, Senate Dems Urge Congress to Work in Bipartisan Fashion to Address Devastating Impacts of Climate Change Ahead of Senator Cruz-Led Congressional Hearing to Continue Denying Climate Change

WASHINGTON, DC – Today, in advance of a controversial hearing designed to question the existence of climate change, U.S. Senators Gary Peters, Tom Udall, Brian Schatz and Ed Markey called on Republicans to work with Senate Democrats to take action to mitigate the devastating impacts of climate change. While leaders from over 190 countries are gathered in Paris to negotiate an international plan to address climate change, Senator Ted Cruz is holding a Space, Science and Competitiveness Subcommittee hearing that features controversial witnesses aiming to cast doubt on peer-reviewed data demonstrating the effects of climate change that is overwhelmingly supported by the scientific community. Additionally, 154 companies with operations in all 50 states have signaled their support for acting on climate change.

“The consequences of climate change are already wreaking havoc on our planet, threatening our food supply, our national security, our economy, and our health and safety. Rather than debating the existence of climate change, which 97% of scientists agree is happening, Congress should be discussing what actions we are going to take to address it,” said Senator Gary Peters, Ranking Member of the Science, Space and Competitiveness Subcommittee. “Investments in clean energy, enhanced vehicle efficiency and scientific research, particularly for NASA’s earth sciences, can both help combat global warming and create jobs in America, and we need to come together in a bipartisan way to tackle these challenges.”

“We need long term solutions on how to address climate change, not a continuation of denials that a problem even exists,” said Senate Commerce Committee Ranking Member Bill Nelson.  

“New Mexico is at the center of the storm when it comes to climate change impacts. We’ve seen rising temperatures, drought, floods and increasingly severe wildfires. ‎Temperatures have been rising 50 percent faster than the global average for decades. Addressing climate change is incredibly important to New Mexicans and all Americans,” said Senator Udall. “Like the majority of Americans, we know climate change is real and that we have to act for our future. ‎Questioning the science is a waste of time. We need to work together on solutions -- now.”

“We rely on science and scientists every day,” said Senator Schatz. “We trust science when we’re building bridges, flying planes, or finding cures to illnesses. The truth is there is scientific consensus on climate change.  Ninety-eight percent of scientists agree that climate change is real and that humans significantly influence it.  Let’s listen to what scientists, not presidential candidates, are saying on climate and find solutions now.” 

"With almost 200 nations right now gathered in Paris in a shared commitment to act on climate, the only thing that requires a thorough scientific investigation is why this hearing is happening at all,” said Senator Markey. “It is only Congress’s Republican climate deniers, informed by ideology and supported by fossil fuel interests, who are holding back action to address climate change, and they will be defeated in time by overwhelming scientific evidence.” 

###