Thursday, September 27, 2007

Senate Hearing Highlights Warming's Threat to VA's Coast

I was lucky enough to be able to attend yesterday's Senate Environment and Public Works Committee hearing on how global warming will impact the Chesapeake Bay (I work for the National Wildlife Federation). Gov. Tim Kaine and Sen. Jim Webb testified and Sen. John Warner sits on the committee.

Gov. Kaine did a masterful job of laying out the threats Virginia faces and calling for a national cap-and-trade system to limit carbon emissions:
Virginia Gov. Timothy M. Kaine told a Senate committee that low-lying Hampton Roads is considered the second most vulnerable population center in the country to rising sea levels linked to global warming. Only New Orleans is more exposed, he said.

"My message to you," Kaine told the Senate Committee on Environment and Public Works, "is that each day that legislative action is delayed will have negative consequences for the Chesapeake Bay."

Also at the hearing, the NWF released a new report on how global warming will impact the Bay's fish and wildlife.When Kaine mentioned Virginia is a national leader in technology jobs, Sen. Warner said he hoped Virginia would soon be a national leader in "green collar" jobs -- producing low-carbon-emissions technologies. Neither Gov. Kaine nor I had heard the term, but we both had the same reaction -- excellent nickname for the industry!

In addition, the morning featured a bit of political theater, with some fireworks between Sen. Barbara Boxer (D-CA) and America's leading climate change denier, Sen. James Inhofe (R-OK).

You can read transcripts and watch video of the entire hearing at the Senate EPW Committee website.

Cross-posted from Raising Kaine
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