Many testify before Environmental and Public Works Committee

By , Washington correspondent, The Nation April 1 2008

Vice President Al Gore testified before the Environmental and Public Works Committee on Capital Hill about global warming, he said that global warming was a danger and an opportunity. He discussed a cap and trade system and how it could help the economy in the United States and bring in green collar jobs.

Some in the EPW committee though argued science still has not agreed on global warming and how the vice president may have done some fear mongering with his movie, but he countered by saying he had wished to start a debate and although as one committee member pointed out Gore did not talk with seventeen scientists who disagree with global warming as a crisis the vice president did agree that input is needed from other countries, as he said “I think we need to work together as a global community”.

After the vice president, Vinod Kholsa an Indian-American venture capitalist testified and discussed the deep economic costs to global warming and how corporations in the United States need to become sustainable, foreign companies like Toyota and the Prius will lead. He also discussed the different technologies that could be used to stop global warming such as solar, biofuels, wind and wave power from the ocean and how the U.S government must get involved and invest in green technologies other countries will. Next came the testifying from president Michael Whatley of Edison Electric Institute, an energy company. Mr. Whatley and an associate discussed nuclear power as a source of energy to help curtail global warming, he did not think a carbon tax would work and said more research is needed in the area of wind power.

Superintendent Warren Riley of the New Orleans Police Department testified to EPW saying that the police department needs better communication with first responders, she said that interoperable communications were desired in case anything like Hurricane Katrina happens again.

Mr. Kenneth P. Green, a resident scholar for the American Enterprise Institute testified about how a cap and trade carbon system would not work in the United States and how cheating within the system because of a cap and trade system could happen.

Finally, Secretary of Labor Elaine Chao, the twenty-forth and first Asian-American appointed to President Bush’s cabinet testified and said about a question regarding the downturn in the American economy, “we are not in a recession, we are in a slow session” other than that she did not seem to know her job and so discussed the tensions between Taiwan and China and going over to a senator’s house for dinner. She finally said that unemployment in the United States has risen, but that she and the DOL (Department of Labor) are always willing to help people find jobs.

Get well Secretary Chao. She testified before the EPW and according to the President’s office got sick with an allergic reaction right after and has to be hospitalized. The White House hopes she gets well soon.