Let’s support all those walking the hard but noble path to recovery

by Sheldon Whitehouse

THE OPIOID ADDICTION gripping the U.S. has hit my home state of Rhode Island hard. In 2015, Rhode Island had the fourth highest rate of deaths by opioid overdose in the country, according to data compiled by the Kaiser Family Foundation. That year, the town of Burrillville, population 16,000, lost six residents to drug overdoses in just the first three months. From 2011 to 2016, overdose deaths in our state increased by more than 90%. We are, of course, far from alone. Virtually every community… Continue Reading


The Auto Industry Needs To Keep Its Word On Fuel Economy Standards

by Sheldon Whitehouse

In 2012, the major automakers told Americans that they had agreed with the Obama administration on new fuel efficiency standards for cars and light trucks. Under this agreement, which the automakers enthusiastically endorsed at the time, vehicles will average 54.5 miles per gallon by 2025. The Corporate Average Fuel Economy standard, or CAFE standard, will reduce U.S. oil consumption by more than 2 million barrels a day and greenhouse gas emissions by 6 billion metric tons. It will also save Ame… Continue Reading


Maximizing value

by Sheldon Whitehouse and Jeff Fortenberry

Many may think us an unlikely pair - Republican Representative from Nebraska, in the heartland of America, and a progressive Democratic Senator from Rhode Island, the Ocean State. However, we have come together as Co-Chairs in the United States Congressional International Conservation Caucus because we share a conviction that good natural resource management is fundamental to building a strong economy, bolstering national security, and protecting public health. Responsible management of natural… Continue Reading


Congress and Climate Change

by Sheldon Whitehouse

Re "It's Not Too Late to Learn From Our Mistakes," by Nicholas Kristof (column, Sept. 3): The answer to why Congress doesn't act on climate change is simple political hydraulics. The Supreme Court let unlimited money into politics. The fossil fuel industry has unlimited money and, according to the International Monetary Fund, a multi-hundred-billion-dollar subsidy to protect. The fossil fuel industry used its unlimited money (and related threats) to capture the Republican Party. Climate change… Continue Reading


Business must lobby Congress in order to get action on climate change

by Sheldon Whitehouse

President Trump has decided to withdraw from the Paris Agreement on climate change - a decision that may be one of the worst foreign policy blunders in our nation's history. There is no denying the mounting threat of climate change. We observe rising seas, warming global temperatures, and melting glaciers and ice sheets. Yet the president cast aside a historic global agreement forged through American leadership. Americans now ask what to do next. For individual citizens, my answer is simple: Co… Continue Reading


Sea level rise could fragment Rhode Island's coastline

by Sheldon Whitehouse

Early explorers found Rhode Island's coastline looking much like it does today. Before then, it looked much the same for centuries to the Narragansetts and Wampanoags who lived here. That's going to change. While the Industrial Revolution that began in Rhode Island in the eighteenth century brought our nation great wealth, it also created manmade pollution that began changing our climate. Climate change causes sea levels to rise, and in the last century they rose more rapidly than they had i… Continue Reading


Unraveling Obama’s climate legacy may not be as easy as Trump thinks

by Sheldon Whitehouse

President Trump recently fired off an executive order aiming to wipe out many Obama administration climate change measures, directing federal agencies to take or unwind various actions. Typical for this insider-friendly administration, it's a polluter's wish list. As recently as 2009, Donald Trump and his children signed onto a full-page New York Times advertisement urging climate action, because the science was "irrefutable" and the consequences "catastrophic and irreversible." Now this. Sad. … Continue Reading


Closing the Saltwater Gap

by Sheldon Whitehouse

To put it bluntly, our oceans are in peril. From the bottom of the Atlantic Ocean to the Arctic ice sheet to remote beaches on Midway Atoll in the middle of the Pacific, there is no longer a place in our oceans untouched by the hand of man. A few numbers quantify the harm humans have caused: The oceans are acidifying at a rate faster than any other time in the past 50 million years. Around 8 million metric tons of plastic, or five grocery bags of debris for each foot of shoreline in the world, f… Continue Reading


Unprecedented and Unprincipled Adversary

by Sheldon Whitehouse

America's universities are home, more than any place else in our country, to the enterprise of science. That has been an important and proud role for our great universities, and it has produced wonderful discoveries. Besides providing technical progress, science gives our society its headlights, warning us of oncoming hazards. As the pace of change accelerates, we need those headlights brighter than ever. So when a threat looms over the enterprise of science, the universities that are its home n… Continue Reading


An Open Letter To President-Elect Donald J. Trump

by Sheldon Whitehouse

This is an open letter to President-elect Trump. I want you to know that America expects better of you as president than what it saw in the campaign you ran. You are now to be our president, and that brings new responsibilities. I hope you feel the call of history to live up to them. That history calls on you to remember that America is a wonderfully diverse country. We are Christian and Jewish and Muslim and Hindu and none of the above. We are gay and straight. We are black, brown, white and i… Continue Reading


Comey Violated Important Principle by Disclosing Emails Investigation to Congress

by Sheldon Whitehouse

As a former attorney general of my state, and a former United States attorney, it is perplexing for me to try to understand FBI Director James Comey's conduct in the agency's investigation of emails related to Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton. We prosecutors lived by principles that he seems to have violated: Don't discuss investigations, whether or not they are ongoing. Don't volunteer evidence you haven't charged. And don't engage with legislators. I had a hard-and-fast rule … Continue Reading


Coke, Pepsi and Climate Change: Letter to the Editor

by Sheldon Whitehouse

To the Editor: Re "Soda Giants Back, Then Lobby Against, Public Health" (Business Day, Oct. 11): Your description of Coke and Pepsi's mixed messages on public health has an echo in climate change. Coke and Pepsi have very laudable climate policies, and make strong public statements. But they lobby Congress through the American Beverage Association, which is moribund on climate (but very lively when a soda tax is proposed), and through their association, they support the U.S. Chamber of Commer… Continue Reading


Dear Lamar Smith: Climate change is real

by Sheldon Whitehouse

Today, I'll be visiting the Lone Star State to talk about an issue that's vitally important to both Texas and my home state of Rhode Island: climate change. Our climates are changing, and we are the cause. Clear and simple measurements show the amount of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere up more than 40 percent since the Industrial Revolution began. Burning fossil fuels has pumped out massive quantities of carbon pollution. The link is established between this rise in CO2 emissions and the measu… Continue Reading


Standoff Over a House Panel's Subpoenas Raises Key Issue

by Sheldon Whitehouse

The House Committee on Science, Space, and Technology has subpoenaed official investigative files of the attorneys general of New York and Massachusetts. The provocation for the subpoenas was that the attorneys general, presented with evidence that fossil fuel companies may have misled customers and investors, undertook investigations to determine if there were any violations of state law. For the moment, there is a standoff; the attorneys general are refusing to comply, and the congressional co… Continue Reading


Big Oil’s master class in rigging the system

by Sheldon Whitehouse and Elizabeth Warren

For years, ExxonMobil actively advanced the notion that its products had little or no impact on the Earth's environment. As recently as last year, it continued to fund organizations that play down the risks of carbon pollution. So what did ExxonMobil actually know about climate change? And when did it know it? Reasonable questions - particularly if ExxonMobil misled its investors about the long-term prospects of its business model or if the company fooled consumers into buying its products base… Continue Reading


Read My Take On Our Work to Combat The Nation's Opioid Crisis

by Senator Sheldon Whitehouse

Jennifer from East Providence started using uppers at 16. Then Percocet, then heroin. She struggled to shake her addiction, failing court-ordered counseling. Finally, she sought help at CODAC Behavioral Health in Cranston and broke heroin's grip. Now 28, Jennifer is excelling in community college, with plans to attend law school. Ordeals like Jennifer's are too common. In 2015, overdoses were responsible for the deaths of more than 20 Rhode Islanders a month on average - more than homicides, ca… Continue Reading


What Phony Op-Eds About Climate Change Have In Common

by Sheldon Whitehouse

BEGINNING IN 1999, the Department of Justice pursued (and ultimately won) a civil lawsuit against several major tobacco companies. By denying the negative health effects of tobacco, the suit alleged, the industry was engaging in fraud. Today, researchers often compare the fossil fuel industry's support for an array of groups that propagate climate change denial to the tobacco industry's pattern of denial of the dangers of its product. Last spring, I wrote an opinion piece recommending a similar … Continue Reading


The New Nuclear Renaissance

by Jim Inhofe, Sheldon Whitehouse, Mike Crapo, Cory Booker

There has been a groundswell of activity and investment in recent years surrounding advanced nuclear reactors. A dynamic group of nuclear engineers and scientists are chasing the future - and racing against China and Russia - to develop innovative reactor designs. These technologies hold enormous promise to provide clean, safe, affordable, and reliable energy, not just for our country, but for the world. These innovators have a vision for the future, and they charge ahead backed by more than $1 … Continue Reading


The WSJ's Long Record of Protecting Polluters

by Sheldon Whitehouse

The Wall Street Journal is quite irate that I rank them with industry front groups and cranks denying climate change. But they have a record whenever industrial pollutants are involved. Look at the Journal's commentary on acid rain, on the ozone layer, and on climate change. There is a pattern: Deny the science, question the motives, exaggerate the costs, help the polluters. When they are wrong this often, but keep at it, you have to wonder whether they care about whether they're right or wrong,… Continue Reading


The Supreme Court's Blind Spot: Understanding How Democracies Function

by Sheldon Whitehouse

In Marbury v. Madison, the foundational case establishing judicial review and cementing the U.S. Supreme Court's role in our democracy, Chief Justice John Marshall asserted, "It is emphatically the province and duty of the judicial department to say what the law is." Unfortunately, today's group of Supreme Court justices in charge of deciding "what the law is" as to how our political system operates have no experience operating within that political system. In the wake of Justice Antonin Scalia… Continue Reading

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