In April, 2007, Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi created acongressional committee to address three of the most pressing issues ofthe day: climate change, economic prosperity (in the form of jobs), andnational security. Today, the House Select Committee on EnergyIndependence and Global Warming, issued a final report. Afterthree-and-a-half years, 80 hearings and briefings with hundreds ofexperts testifying, the committee is no more. It will not continue inthe Republican-controlled House.
Which is too bad, because the three challenges — climate change,jobs, national security — remain as daunting today as they were in 2007. In many ways, the problems have grown over time.
Since the committee was first gavelled into session, American’s havespent $1.3 trillion on imported oil. Our jobless rate was 4.6 percent in 2007; in December, that figure stood at 9.8 percent. And the level ofCO2 in the atmosphere has gone from 385 to 388.59 parts per million inthese three plus years.
The committee report on this nexus should be required reading for all Americans — particularly those individuals convening in the nation’scapitol this week, as part of the 112th Congress.
Image: Vice-Admiral Dennis McGinn testifying before the Select Committee, December 10, 2010