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Senate to Vote on Schatz Amendment to Keystone Recognizing Climate Change as Real, Urgent, and Solvable

Schatz Amendment First Climate Science Amendment Offered by Senate Democrats

Washington, DC – The Senate is set to vote on advancing U.S. Senator Brian Schatz’s (D-Hawai‘i) amendment to S.1, the Keystone XL pipeline legislation.  The Schatz amendment, the first climate science amendment offered by Senate Democrats, affirms that climate change is real and significantly caused by human activity.  Senator Schatz delivered remarks on the Senate floor calling on his colleagues to acknowledge the facts about climate change and support the amendment.

Full text of remarks follow:

Mr. President, climate change is real and human activity significantly contributes to climate change.  It also states that a warmer planet causes large-scale changes, including higher sea levels, changes in precipitation, and altered weather patterns such as increases in more extreme weather events. 

This amendment cites for its evidence the findings of national and international scientific institutions, including the IPCC (Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change), the National Research Council, and the United States Global Change Research Program.  All of these organizations are cited and quoted in the State Department’s Final Supplemental Environmental Impact Statement on the Keystone XL pipeline. 

This is the same environmental review document that plays a prominent role in the text of the underlying bill, Senate Bill One, and the substitute amendment.

The purpose of this amendment is simply to acknowledge and restate a set of facts.  It is not intended to place a value judgment on those facts or to suggest a specific course of action in response to those facts.  It’s just a set of facts, derived from decades of careful study of our land, our air, and our water.  I urge my colleagues to support this amendment.  And I yield the floor.