Rep. Waxman: Climate Change is 'Moral Issue' Comparable To Civil Rights

By Eric Scheiner | March 7, 2011 | 6:39pm EST

( - Rep. Henry Waxman (D-Calif.) says climate change is a “moral issue.”  During a speech at the Center for American Progress on Monday, he criticized Republicans for their attempts to eliminate the Environmental Protection Agency’s authority to regulate greenhouse gas emissions.

Waxman, the ranking member of the House Energy and Commerce Committee, said Republicans have adopted “anti-science views,” and he compared the climate change issue to the debate in America on civil rights.

“Climate change is an environmental issue, it’s an economic issue, but it’s also fundamentally a moral issue. We have an opportunity to act now to forestall great harm to our nation and to the world. We had that kind of issue at other times in our history, we had it during the civil rights debate,” the member of the House Energy and Commerce Committee said.

Waxman added, “If we don’t act on this challenge we will not meet our moral ability to shape our future. We will not meet our moral obligation to our children and future generations.”

Waxman’s comments come as members of the House Energy and Commerce Committee are considering legislation that would permanently eliminate the EPA’s climate authority. Several Democrats are joining a Republican effort to block the Environmental Protection Agency from reducing heat-trapping gasses that have been blamed for global warming.

Rep. Henry Waxman (AP Photo)

The California Democrat made several recommendations about what should be done, asking lawmakers to protect the Obama administration’s ability to regulate greenhouse emissions. He called for a charge on carbon emissions to reduce the deficit. Waxman also appealed to policymakers to “educate the public” about the dangers of climate change.


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