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  May/June 2007
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  SMART ENERGY SOLUTIONS:
Climate Exchange
The Power of Truth
A Senator's Vow
 
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Brilliant Waters
At See Level
Walk on the Wilshire Side
 
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One Small Step
Lay of the Land
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A Senator's Vow
{excerpted from Barbara Boxer's comments at Sierra's climate forum}
May/June 2007

First elected to the U.S. Senate in 1992, Senator Barbara Boxer (D-Calif.) is now chair of the Environment and Public Works Committee.
I WILL MAKE THIS PLEDGE: We will do something about global warming. It will be good, and it will be bipartisan. A lot of the ideas your roundtable came up with will be carefully considered. You're being strategic and pragmatic, suggesting, for example, that we have to start sending signals to coal companies. We have to start sending signals not to expect to be grandfathered into the old rules, because we can't do business the way we used to, now that we know what we know.

Let's suppose, for a moment, that we prepared for global warming and it didn't happen. The fact is that all the things we can do are good for our country anyway. If we increase our energy independence, it's beneficial--whether from a foreign policy or trade-deficit perspective. Oil importation is responsible for almost half our trade deficit. In addition, pollution would decrease. Indeed, when we look at our families in California, the biggest cause of school absenteeism is asthma. These changes are better for our families and for the economy. We will create jobs. We'll increase competitiveness and export new technologies. Our venture capitalists will love this. Our farmers will be happy. Look at the opportunities in cellulosic fuels.

Finally, I want to thank Al Gore for his work. As a policymaker, I wouldn't be in the position I am today without him. I really think people looked at this issue last November 7 and voted in many areas because of it. I make a commitment to you now that the vice president's work is going to bear fruit.


Photo by Anne Hamersky; used with permission.

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