Barbara Boxer pledges a very different approach to global warming as chair of the US Senate's Environmental Committee.
Boxer's elevation to chairwoman of the Senate Environmental Public Works Committee comes as the Democrats return to power in the Senate. It also marks a dramatic shift in ideology for the panel.This is great news.
The California Democrat is one of the Senate's most liberal members and replaces one of the most conservative senators, Republican James Inhofe of Oklahoma. Inhofe had blocked bills seeking to cut the greenhouse gases contributing to global warming, calling the issue ''the greatest hoax perpetrated on the American people.''
Boxer said she intends to introduce legislation to curb greenhouse gases, strengthen environmental laws regarding public health and hold oversight hearings on federal plans to clean up Superfund sites across the country.On the last point, I remain in wait-and-see mode.
On global warming, Boxer said she would model federal legislation after a California law signed this summer by Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger. That law imposes the first statewide cap on greenhouse gases and seeks to cut California's emissions by 25 percent, dropping them to 1990 levels by 2020.
A top environmental aide at the White House signaled Thursday that the administration would work with Boxer.