Senators: GOP is out of touch on climate

Republicans are going against the majority of American voters in opposing the Obama administration’s climate rule, and their position will get increasingly out of touch as time goes on, liberal senators said.

“This is what the American people want, and anyone who tries to undermine the president here is going against the will of the people,” said Sen. Barbara Boxer (D-Calif.), chairwoman of the Environment and Public Works Committee.

“This rule is good for the economy and the environment. We support it, the American people support it and we will fight every day to make sure this rule goes forward,” she said at a Wednesday press conference about the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) rule and the ongoing public hearings about it.

Sen. Chris Murphy (D-Conn.) said Republicans “are living in denial of changing demographics,” both in terms of climate change and immigration.

“Republicans have a real political problem, much more 10 years from now than today,” he said. “Eighteen to 35-year-olds in this country overwhelmingly support the president’s Climate Action Plan and believe in human contribution to climate change.”

Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) accused Republicans who do not believe that humans cause climate change of “rejecting basic science.”

“The fact that we have a major political party saying ‘nope, we reject that science’ is utterly embarrassing,” he said.

To illustrate their points, the senators used a recent Washington Post-ABC News poll showing that more than 70 percent of voters support requiring states to reduce carbon emissions from their power plants, which is what the EPA rule would do.

“People want to clean up dirty carbon pollution,” Boxer said.

Earlier Wednesday, Sen. Ben Cardin (D-Md.) testified at the EPA headquarters in support of the rule.

“Inaction will cost greatly, there’s no question about that,” he said.

The liberal senators also sought to defend against the Republican claim that the rules are a “war on coal.”

“There is no war against any source of energy,” said Boxer.

“We’re not against research into coal and looking at ways to make sure it’s better utilized,” said Cardin. “But we have to acknowledge the fact that there are alternatives available that are better for the economy.”