Senator Wants Climate to Play Key Role in Presidential Race

WASHINGTON, DC - DECEMBER 15: Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI) participates in a House Judiciary Committee hearing on December 15, 2010 in Washington, DC. The committee is hearing testimony on foreclosure justice and causes and effects of the foreclosure crisis. 
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Clare Foran
March 6, 2014, 2:22 a.m.

Sen. Shel­don White­house is head­ing to Iowa to spread the gos­pel of glob­al warm­ing.

The self-de­scribed cli­mate hawk, made fam­ous for de­liv­er­ing weekly speeches on the Sen­ate floor on the dangers of cli­mate change, will travel to the state in mid-March ahead of the Iowa caucuses. The Rhode Is­land Demo­crat plans to meet with act­iv­ists and state law­makers in a bid to push cli­mate to the top of the polit­ic­al agenda.

“We need to make cli­mate change a ma­jor top­ic in the 2016 pres­id­en­tial race. Iowa, with its first-in-the-na­tion caucuses, is in a unique po­s­i­tion to drive the de­bates in that race,” White­house said in a state­ment. “I do hope that by vis­it­ing Iowa now and meet­ing with loc­al act­iv­ists and journ­al­ists, I can help to put the is­sue of cli­mate change at the front of their minds as the 2016 race takes shape.”

Demo­crat­ic state Sen. Rob Hogg ex­pressed op­tim­ism that Iowa voters could be com­pelled to sit up and pay at­ten­tion.

“There is grow­ing mo­mentum for cli­mate ac­tion in Iowa,” Hogg said in a state­ment. “Cli­mate change is already hurt­ing Iowa with more ex­treme-weath­er events and eco­lo­gic­al dis­rup­tions. At the same time, cli­mate ac­tion is already cre­at­ing thou­sands of jobs and busi­ness op­por­tun­it­ies in our state.”

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