Dems ask NFL, NBA for suggestions on how to battle climate change

A new Capitol Hill climate task force wants a wide range of parties — including energy companies, green groups, sports leagues and plenty in-between — to submit suggestions for federal actions to battle global warming.

The letter to 300-plus companies and groups is among the first actions of the Bicameral Task Force on Climate Change that Democrats unveiled last week.

Recipients of the letter include oil and power companies such as Exxon and Southern Co., think tanks, environmentalists, defense contractors, retailers like Wal-Mart, financial companies like Goldman Sachs, food companies and many other sectors.

Also on the list: the National Football League, the National Basketball Association and other sports leagues.

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The letter asks for input on actions that the Environmental Protection Agency, Energy Department and other federal agencies could take using their existing authorities. 

“We can’t delay action any longer. We want to jumpstart action by seeking recommendations on what every part of government can do now,” said Rep. Henry Waxman (D-Calif.), the top Democrat on the House Energy and Commerce Committee, in a statement.

The letter arrives as prospects for climate legislation on Capitol Hill are bleak, although it also asks for recommendations on congressional action.

“Washington is gripped in a barricade of special interests on the urgent issue of climate change,” said Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse (D-R.I.), one of the leaders of the task force.

“That’s why we want to break the Beltway barricade and ask a broad array of businesses, non-profit organizations, and academic institutions to share their ideas about actions the federal government can take. Climate change is already affecting all of us, and we want to get all ideas on the table to address it,” he said in a statement.

Click here for a sample of the letter.