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ICYMI: Vitter asks Obama to volunteer witnesses for this week's warming hearing
July 16, 2013

E&E News
Vitter asks Obama to volunteer witnesses for this week's warming hearing

Jean Chemnick, E&E reporter
Published: Tuesday, July 16, 2013

President Obama should make administration personnel available for a Senate hearing Thursday on climate change, even though the committee holding the hearing has not asked them to attend, the panel's top Republican said yesterday.

Senate Environment and Public Works ranking member David Vitter (R-La.) wrote a letter to Obama asking him to provide representatives of his administration for Thursday's hearing who can discuss his second-term climate change agenda.

The committee's chairwoman, Sen. Barbara Boxer (D-Calif.), has titled the hearing "Climate Change: It's Happening Now," and has said it will focus on climate science. She has said the witness panel will be stocked with scientific experts but has yet to release a list of those attending.

But Vitter, who has seen the list, says it is lacking in administration officials who could shed light on Obama's climate change plans, outlined last month at Georgetown University.

"The potential for your climate plan to exacerbate the serious economic problems that currently persist justifies providing a panel of federal witnesses who are charged with implementing your agenda, to testify to the scope, purpose, and consequences of such unilateral action," he said in the letter.

Vitter zeroes in on four points he has highlighted in his first six months as the panel's top Republican. These include the process that led to the administration's new, higher estimate for the social cost of carbon released earlier this year, and the Treasury Department's lack of response to requests for documents he says might show that it is developing a carbon tax proposal (E&E Daily, July 15).

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