As legislation regarding the Keystone XL pipeline makes it way to President Obama’s desk, where it will be vetoed, the Republicans in Congress are trying to convince a few more Democrats to side with them on the construction of the tar sands pipeline. In order to pick up the votes needed to have a two-thirds majority and override the president’s veto, Sen. Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (KY) has opened the bill for amendment, The New Republic reported.
Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT), one of the pipeline’s strongest critics, is using this opportunity to make the Senate vote on whether or not climate change is real. The “sense of Congress” resolution wouldn’t do anything “to address the problems of global warming,” but it will force Senators to go on official government record as denying climate change and the science behind it.
Sanders’ resolution reads, in part, (edited for format)
“It is the sense of Congress that Congress is in agreement with the opinion of virtually the entire worldwide scientific community that … climate change is real; climate change is caused by human activities; climate change has already caused devastating problems in the United States and around the world; a brief window of opportunity exists before the United States and the entire planet suffer irreparable harm; and it is imperative that the United States transform its energy system away from fossil fuels and toward energy efficiency and sustainable energy as rapidly as possible.”
The fact that Sanders even has to introduce this legislation is embarrassing. “The American people need to know whether Congress is listening to the overwhelming majority of scientists when it comes to climate change,” he said.
“On this issue, the scientists have been virtually unanimous in saying that climate change is real,” Sanders continued, asking, “Do members of Congress believe the scientists or not?”
As ThinkProgress pointed out, about 70 percent of Republican senators do not, having said in the past that human activity doesn’t cause global warming, which is alarming. Even Republican voters overwhelmingly agree with the scientific community: a Yale Project on Climate Change Communication study released earlier this week shows that more than 60 percent of moderate and liberal Republicans accept the fact that climate change is happening.