Top Democrat calls for GAO to investigate climate threat

Top Democrat calls for GAO to investigate climate threat
© Greg Nash

A top Democratic senator is urging a congressional watchdog to investigate multiple ways in which climate change poses a threat to the environment and humans as a means to document the issues for future oversight and bill drafting.

Sen. Tom CarperThomas (Tom) Richard CarperDemocrats hope to salvage Biden's agenda on Manchin's terms  Democrats call on Biden administration to ease entry to US for at-risk Afghans Overnight Energy & Environment — Lummis holds up Biden EPA picks MORE (D-Del.), ranking member of the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee, sent five separate letters to the Government Accountability Office (GAO) Monday to open up as many studies into how global warming is affecting areas that the federal government oversees.

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The letters, also co-signed by other Democratic senators, ask the GAO to look into how climate change might affect energy infrastructure, nuclear waste storage, flood risk management, Superfund sites and chemical facilities.

Sens. Joe ManchinJoe ManchinArizona Democratic Party executive board censures Sinema Biden seeks to save what he can from Build Back Better On The Money — Labor chief touts efforts to promote job growth MORE (D-W.Va.) and Tammy DuckworthLadda (Tammy) Tammy DuckworthThese Senate seats are up for election in 2022 Democrats call on Biden administration to ease entry to US for at-risk Afghans We must learn from the Afghanistan experience — starting with the withdrawal MORE (D-Ill.) each also signed a letter. Sen. Cory BookerCory BookerDemocrats call on Biden administration to ease entry to US for at-risk Afghans Bass raises nearly million since launching LA mayor campaign CNN legal analyst knocks GOP senator over remark on Biden nominee MORE (D-N.J.), a 2020 presidential candidate, backed the letters calling for a report on Superfund and chemical sites.

The lawmakers’ requests follow the release of the GAO’s biennial High Risk List, which found that neither international nor U.S. efforts to stave off climate change “approach the scales needed to avoid substantial damage to the U.S. economy, environment and human health over the coming decades.”

“The Government Accountability Office has already joined leagues of scientists and nonpartisan experts in raising the alarm about the short- and long-term risks climate change poses to our country’s environment, public health and economy,” Carper said in a statement.

“These nonpartisan studies would help to inform our oversight and legislative work on the Environment and Public Works Committee as we continue working on climate change solutions.”