Three Northwest members on global warming panel

By Matthew Daly
Seattle P-I/Associated Press

WASHINGTON — Three Northwest House members were named Friday to a special panel that will study global warming and offer recommendations on how to deal with it.

Rep. Earl Blumenauer, D-Ore., Rep. Jay Inslee, D-Wash., and Rep. Greg Walden, R-Ore., are among 15 House members serving on the new panel, which House Democrats created to highlight the importance of global climate change. Inslee and Blumenauer were selected by House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., while Walden was chosen by House Minority Leader John Boehner, R-Ohio.

“Global warming and energy independence are urgent issues that have profound implications for our nation’s economic competitiveness, national security, environmental quality and public health,” Pelosi said in a statement. “The wide-ranging expertise of these members will be critical in finding viable solutions that stimulate our economy, promote jobs and protect our environment.”

Inslee, of Bainbridge Island, Wash., is a longtime advocate of aggressive action to combat global warming and promote so-called clean energy.

“This is as much an economic opportunity as it is an environmental imperative,” he said. “If we face it with as much optimism as original Apollo Project (to send a man to the moon), we’ll get the job done.”

Walden, of Hood River, Ore., called it an honor to serve on the panel, which the House created Thursday.

Walden said he hoped the Democratic-controlled panel would investigate many differing points of view and scientific findings on what is causing climate change.

“Global temperatures have risen, no doubt. We have thermometers that can measure these things with accuracy. The challenge we face is to determine exactly the role nature and other countries play, and what we as humans can do about it to positively curtail negative trends,” he said.

Blumenauer, of Portland, Ore., said, “Global warming poses the single greatest threat this generation will see, and we must begin examining and implementing real solutions now.”
The new committee, formally known as the Select Committee on Energy Independence and Global Warming, includes nine Democrats and six Republicans and will be chaired by Rep. Edward Markey, D-Mass. It will hold hearings and recommend legislation, but, in a concession to existing committees, will not write legislation.

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