In a historic moment, the Senate failed to take the leadership that America and the world need to address climate change. It did not pass the Climate Security Act after opponents used procedural gimmicks to tie up the Senate for most of this week, preventing serious consideration of the bill. But the good news is that for the first time, a majority of the U.S. Senate voiced support for moving forward with action on real global warming legislation.
This morning, 54 senators stood up and committed to putting the United States on the right path to reduce our global warming pollution and begin confronting this critical issue that is affecting every creature of the planet. Some of these senators are converts, having previously opposed global warming legislation. Some are new senators who voted for the first time on global warming legislation. All 54 should be thanked.
Thirty six senators backed away. These senators need to hear from people across the country that they have failed us, our children, and grandchildren. They also failed our economy, because as recent studies reveal, failing to confront global warming will be terribly costly.
As we move forward, we will go into every state and tell the American people the truth, loudly and clearly, about where senators stood at this critical juncture. This is a moment for leadership. The public is begging for it, and those who do not stand up will be held accountable.
And we will continue this fight. The science, the level of public support, and the sheer urgency surrounding global warming compel us to continue the battle. We will succeed in transforming our energy future to one that reduces emissions, invests in efficiency and new technologies, and takes us into a cleaner, more sustainable 21st century.
I am encouraged by the fact that we have taken comprehensive global warming legislation farther than it has ever gone before. A national limit on global warming pollution is inevitable. It could be just months away. We are grateful for the leadership of Senators Boxer, Lieberman, Warner, and Reid for bringing us this far today.
While President Bush promised to veto the Climate Security Act, the candidates to become our next president have made it clear that they will make reducing global warming pollution a priority for their administration. And once we have a president who exhibits real leadership on this issue, we will see a lot of the fence-sitters in the Senate come over to our side.
It’s just a matter for time before America makes a real commitment to solving global warming. But delay is costly, so we all need to redouble our efforts in order to make that time as short as possible.