Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse, D-R.I., announced on Monday that he is “officially very anxious about climate legislation,” saying that he’s still “sensitive” about the Obama administration’s “abandonment” of the issue.
The senator tweeted on Monday morning: “OK, I’m now officially very anxious about climate legislation. I’ll admit I’m sensitive from the Obama climate abandonment, but I sense trouble.”
He added, “Climate has fallen out of the infrastructure discussion, as it took its bipartisanship detour. It may not return. So then what? I don’t see the preparatory work for a close Senate climate vote taking place in the administration. Why not marshal business support?”
Whitehouse accused “Corporate America” of being “still completely AWOL if not worse on climate in Congress. All the major corporate trade associations suck — all of them.”
He added, “Groups and advocates are quarreling — My way! No, my way! We need everything, not ‘my thing.’ Oy.”
The senator, who notes in his Twitter biography that he represents “the Ocean State,” said that “Oceans are a big part of climate and so far no significant oceans/coasts effort apparent in administration. Trying to repair that in Senate.”
He later said that “We need planning, organizing and momentum. It’s not going to be easy. And it has to work. We are running out of time.”
Whitehouse also posted a link to a Washington Post article on rising CO2 levels in the atmosphere despite the COVID-19 pandemic causing widespread lockdowns and travel restrictions, saying “Oh, and look what came in the news. Atmospheric CO2 hits new peak.”
Pieter Tans, a senior scientist working for the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s Global Monitoring Laboratory, told the Post that the news isn’t “significant in the sense that we are surprised. It was fully expected. It’s significant in that it shows we are still fully on the wrong track.”
Corinne Le Quéré, a research professor at the University of East Anglia specializing in climate change science, added to the newspaper: “The fact that CO2 concentrations at Mauna Loa data are already so high and are keep going up so fast is disturbing but not surprising because the emissions of CO2 continue to be incredibly high. The concentrations of CO2 in the atmosphere will stop rising when the emissions approach zero.”
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