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 CarperAmerica is in desperate need of infrastructure investment: Senate highway bill a step in the right direction FARA should apply to Confucius Institutes The 23 Republicans who opposed Trump-backed budget deal 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 ManchinJoseph (Joe) ManchinGOP senator: Gun control debate 'hasn't changed much at all' back home What the gun safety debate says about Washington Sunday shows - Recession fears dominate MORE (D-W.Va.) and Tammy DuckworthLadda (Tammy) Tammy DuckworthOvernight Defense: Dems talk Afghanistan, nukes at Detroit debate | Senate panel advances Hyten nomination | Iranian foreign minister hit with sanctions | Senate confirms UN ambassador Senate committee advances nomination of general accused of sexual assault Overnight Defense: General accused of sexual assault to get confirmation hearing | Senate to vote Monday on overriding Saudi arms deal veto | Next Joint Chiefs chair confirmed | Graham tries to ease Turkey tensions MORE (D-Ill.) each also signed a letter. Sen. Cory BookerCory Anthony BookerSenate Democrats push for arms control language in defense policy bill Detroit county sheriff endorses Booker for president 'The Simpsons' pokes fun at Trump's feud with 'the squad' 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.”