During Senator John Kerry’s Senate confirmation hearings for the position of Secretary of State, he spoke at length on the risks of climate change as a “life threatening” issue and the need for the United States to lead on building the clean energy economy. During his term in this powerful position of leadership, he said he will be a “passionate advocate” for climate science and action.
In response to a question from climate skeptic Senator Barrasso (R-WY), Kerry challenged the US to take advantage of the promise of climate solutions:
So I would respectfully say to you that climate change is not something to be feared in response to — but it’s to be feared if we don’t. 3,500 communities in our nation last year broke records for heat. We had a rail that because of the heat bent, and we had a derailment as a result of it. We had record fires. We had record levels of damage from Sandy, $70 billion. If we can’t see the downside of spending that money and risking lives — for all the changes that are taking place; agriculture, our communities, the ocean — then we’re just ignoring what science is telling us. I will be a passionate advocate on this, but not based on ideology. Based on facts. Based on science. And I hope to with all of you and convince you that this $6 trillion market is worth millions of American jobs and we better go after it.
Kerry’s confirmation will be speedy, and one of his first decisions will be on TransCanada’s permits for the Keystone XL Pipeline.
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