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Statistical Grok: The U.S. Senate’s Hot and Cold Record on Global Warming

by Bill Chameides | June 13th, 2008
posted by Erica Rowell (Editor)

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The U.S. Senate has yet to take decisive action to address climate change.

While the rest of the industrial world is figuring out how to tackle the gargantuan problem of global warming, on June 6, 2008, the U.S. Senate pulled the plug on the latest, comprehensive climate bill introduced to the legislative body. This is another in a string of setbacks for U.S. climate legislation since 1997. Here’s a sketch of U.S. Senate votes on climate change legislation.

 

July 1997 – Number of votes for (and against) nonbinding Senate opposition to joining international efforts to curb global warming pollution: 95 (0)

 

October 2003 – Number of votes for (and against) the McCain-Lieberman climate bill calling for mandatory cuts of greenhouse gases (GHG) to the energy bill: 43 (55)

 

May 2005 – Number of votes for (and against) adding the McCain-Lieberman Climate Stewardship and Innovation Act mandating restrictions of GHG as an amendment to the energy bill: 38 (60)

 

June 2005 – Number of votes for (and against) adding Sen. Chuck Hagel’s (R-NE) climate change amendment calling for voluntary (not mandatory) reductions of greenhouse gas emissions: 66  (29)

 

June 2005 – Number of votes for (and against) squelching Sen. Jeff Bingaman’s (D-NM) nonbinding resolution expressing Congressional acknowledgment of the problem of climate change and the need to act on it: 44 (53)

 

July 2005 – Number of votes for (and against) John Kerry’s (D-MA) nonbinding resolution that global warming is a problem that must be addressed “through comprehensive and cost-effective national measures”: 46 (49)

 

June 6, 2008 – Number of votes cast for (and against) the Warner-Lieberman cap-and-trade climate bill: 0 (0)*

 

* The Senate was unable to vote because of an inability to cut off a filibuster. The vote for cloture, which requires 60 votes, fell 12 votes short.

 

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