In April, 2007, Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi created a congressional committee to address three of the most pressing issues of the day: climate change, economic prosperity (in the form of jobs), and national security. Today, the House Select Committee on Energy Independence and Global Warming, issued a final report. After three-and-a-half years, 80 hearings and briefings with hundreds of experts testifying, the committee is no more. It will not continue in the 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 have spent $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 of CO2 in the atmosphere has gone from 385 to 388.59 parts per million in these three plus years.
The committee report on this nexus should be required reading for all Americans — particularly those individuals convening in the nation’s capitol this week, as part of the 112th Congress.