Time to Wake Up: Climate Change In Wisconsin

Thank you, Mr. President, I am back now for the 91st consecutive week that the Senate has been in session to urge my colleagues to wake up and pay attention to the threat of climate change. I am delighted and proud to be joined today by my colleague and friend, Senator Baldwin from Wisconsin, to consider the effects of carbon pollution in her state. According to scientists at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, weather stations around the state show that average temperatures in Wisconsin in… Continue Reading


Time to Wake Up: The Effects of Climate Change From New York to Florida

Mr. President, I am here for the 90th time to urge my colleagues in the Senate to take action on climate change. It is time to wake up. The science is clearly worthy of our trust, and it is indeed time to wake up. The human contribution to climate change is no longer up for legitimate debate. We know that carbon pollution accumulates in the atmosphere. We know that carbon dioxide traps the sun's heat. We've actually known that since Abraham Lincoln was president. We know that the atmosphe… Continue Reading


Sen. Whitehouse: Let's Lift the Stigma on Addiction and Recovery

*This speech was delivered at an event about addiction and recovery co-hosted by the Alliance to Prevent the Abuse of Medicines, Roll Call, and the U.S. Chamber of Commerce. It was held at the Chamber's headquarters in Washington, DC. Good morning, and thank you for the kind introduction, Beth (Bronder, Roll Call publisher). Thank you also to the Alliance to Prevent the Abuse of Medicines, Roll Call, and the Chamber of Commerce for hosting this important discussion on prescription drug abuse.… Continue Reading


Time to Wake Up: Conflicting Voices from Oklahoma

Thank you, Mr. President. I am here now for the eighty-eighth time to urge this body to wake up to the looming threat of climate change. In the last few weeks, my Republican colleagues have talked about climate change here on the floor more than at any other time since I began giving these weekly speeches. We'd heard next to nothing from Republicans about climate change since the 2010 Citizens United decision. That decision let loose the fossil fuel industry to cast an even darker shadow of … Continue Reading


Time to Wake Up: Let's Start Debating Solutions

Mr. President, I am here now, for I guess the 87th consecutive week that the Senate has been in session to urge action on climate change. We've had an interesting couple of weeks on the Keystone Pipeline, but from a climate change and carbon pollution point of view, this would obviously not be helpful, indeed it would be a disaster, leading to as much as 27 million metric tons of additional carbon dioxide emitted per year. To put that number into some perspective, that's the equivalent of addi… Continue Reading


Time to Wake Up: Citizens United Crushed the Debate on Climate Change

Mr. President, this week marks a somewhat dark milestone, which is the five-year anniversary of the Supreme Court's, in my view, reprehensible decision in Citizens United vs. Federal Election Commission. This was some feat of activism by the conservative bloc of the Supreme Court. It overturned the laws of Congress, it overturned the will of the American people, and it gave wildly outsized influence over our elections to corporations and big-money interests, creating what one newspaper in Kentu… Continue Reading


Time to Wake Up: Let's Reject the Keystone Pipeline

Thank you, Mr. President, with all of the issues are country faces, here we are debating a Canadian pipeline, what are we doing here? A new majority has taken over the Senate, and their first bill-their opening gambit-is the Keystone pipeline? What is going on? Is it about jobs? There has been an awful lot of talk about jobs in the last few days. But this opening gambit both obviously and demonstrably has nothing to do with jobs. If this were about jobs, bring up instead the Shaheen-Port… Continue Reading


Time to Wake Up: Senate Dems can Still Make Progress on Climate Change

This is my first "Time to Wake Up" speech in the Senate as a member of the minority. Being in the minority will give me the opportunity for the first time to use the tools that are uniquely available to members of the Senate minority. On the issue of climate change, which is affecting all our states, particularly Rhode Island, I intend to use them, politely and persistently. We have just left a period of partisanship and obstruction by the minority unique in the Senate's history. I do not in… Continue Reading


Time to Wake Up: 2014 Could be the Hottest Year On Record

Mr. President, We are winding down the end of this year in Congress and indeed the end of this Congress, and I am here today for the last "Time to Wake Up" speech in this Congress. And I'm particularly pleased to be delivering it while my friend is presiding, who actually took the trouble to come to Rhode Island and hear firsthand about what is happening in my state on those issues. The year that is ending now ushered in some mighty dubious milestones: January through November, 2014, the year s… Continue Reading


Time to Wake Up: A Carbon Fee is Not a War on Coal

Thank you, Mr. President, I am here this evening for "Time to Wake Up" speech number eighty-two. Scientists tell us that the evidence for climate change is "unequivocal", "unequivocal"-not a word often used in scientific writing-and the American people know that climate change is real. In a new poll released by the insurance firm Munich Re, eight out of ten Americans believe the climate is changing. They see it happening right around them. The American people also know we need to cut our c… Continue Reading


Fighting Climate Change Can Also Help the Economy

Madam President, I am here for my 81st ''Time To Wake Up'' speech and to ask this body to wake up to the effects of climate change and to say this: Acting on this issue will accelerate economic growth, spur innovation, and create jobs. We have settled any real argument about the leading cause of climate change. It is carbon pollution. Measurements in the atmosphere and oceans reveal dramatic, even unprecedented changes in the climate. Our scientists know carbon pollution heats up the climate a… Continue Reading


Sen. Whitehouse Speech at NYU Institute for Policy Integrity fall conference

I'm happy to be with you today, here in New York City. Just a few weeks ago, four hundred thousand people marched in this great city to demand action on climate change. I was honored to be among them. The world has just set some dubious records. Five of the past six calendar months-April, May, June, August, and September-were each the hottest ever recorded. (July came in at fourth hottest.) 2014 is on pace to tie or become the hottest year on record. This decade was warmer than the las… Continue Reading


Campus Sexual Assaults - Speech to National Association of Attorneys General

Good morning, and thank you, Attorney General Kilmartin. It's an honor to address the National Association of Attorneys General, and a particular pleasure to do so in my home state. Welcome to Rhode Island, and thank all of you for the work you do every day to uphold our laws and keep our communities safe. Attorneys General are often our citizens' first line of defense against violence and fraud, and I have carried the lessons of that responsibility with me as I serve Rhode Islanders in the S… Continue Reading


Time to Wake Up: Rhode Island Energy and Environmental Leaders Day

Mr. President, I rise today for the seventy-eighth time in my "Time To Wake Up" series to urge my Republican colleagues that it is long past time, long past time, to wake up to the growing threat of global climate change. For those who still deny the science, and believe it or not, that's where some of our colleagues still are, I remind them that virtually every credible scientific authority-and no, the ones funded by the big carbon polluters don't count, virtually every credible scientific aut… Continue Reading


Time to Wake Up: Republicans Side with Polluters over the Public on Climate

The 113th Congress is now winding down; an election is upon us that will decide the makeup of the next Congress; and I'm here for the seventy-seventh time to say that it is time for my Republican colleagues to wake up to the threat of climate change-both for the good of our world and, ultimately, for the good of their own party. No political party can long remain a credible force in our democracy if their position on one of the defining threats of their time is to deny its existence, or to ple… Continue Reading


Environmental Protection Was Once a Top Priority of Republicans

Mr. President, I rise today for the seventy-sixth time to urge my colleagues that it is time for us to wake up to the growing threats of climate change. Not a single state remains unaffected by the unprecedented changes we are already seeing, driven by the excessive carbon pollution that we continue to dump into our oceans and atmosphere. Yet in Washington, our Republican colleagues either parrot the polluter line that climate change is just a hoax, or stay silent. No one will step forward. … Continue Reading


How Citizens United Altered the Climate Debate

Thank you, Madam President, this is my seventy-fifth "Time to Wake Up" speech,something of a minor benchmark, I suppose. I come here urging my colleagues to wake up to the threat of climate change. I do this every week that we are in session, hoping that someday spark will hit tinder. But even as the evidence of climate change deepens, the dialogue here in Washington remains one-sided. Climate change was once a bipartisan concern. In recent years, something changed. I think I know what cha… Continue Reading


Climate Change in Utah

My original topic for being here before I got into that subject was that this is my seventy-fourth visit to the floor to urge my colleagues that it is truly time to wake up to the threats of climate change. The reports just keep rolling in. The latest one for coastal states like ours, Madam President, is a study called "Risky Business," that was commissioned by former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg, who knows something about coastal issues, having been flooded by Sandy; former George … Continue Reading


The Devastating Effects of Ocean Acidification

Mr. President, I'm here for the seventy-third time to wake up speech that I have done to urge my colleagues to wake up to the growing threat of climate change. The changes that we are seeing, driven by carbon pollution, are far-reaching-from the coastlines of states like Rhode Island and your state of Connecticut, to the great plateaus and mountain ranges out west; from pole to pole; from high up in the atmosphere to deep down in the oceans. In Rhode Island, we know the oceans are ground zero … Continue Reading


Sens. Whitehouse and Manchin Discuss Common Ground on Energy and Climate Policy

Mr. WHITEHOUSE. Mr. President, I have come here every week now for 72 consecutive weeks that the Senate has been in session to urge colleagues to wake up to the growing threat of climate change. Today I have the pleasure and honor of being joined by my friend and colleague Senator Joe Manchin of West Virginia. I ask unanimous consent that the Senator from West Virginia and I be allowed to engage in a colloquy for the time we have been allotted. The PRESIDING OFFICER. Without objection, it is s… Continue Reading

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