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Climate Change Talkathon Ends After 14 Hours

Ramsey Cox | The Hill

11 MAR 2014

Senate Democrats spent more than 14 hours talking about the importance of climate change Monday night through Tuesday morning.

Sens. Brian Schatz (D-HI), Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI) and Barbara Boxer (D-CA) are leading the charge and more than 20 other Democrats participated, including members of leadership, in the Senate’s 35th all-night session.

“Climate change deniers still exist,” Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) said at the beginning of the talkathon at 6:30 p.m. Monday. “They exist, I’m sorry to say, in this Congress. … Climate change exists and it’s time to stop denying it.”

Schatz and Whitehouse said Congress could reduce harmful effects of climate change if the United States relied less on fossil fuels.

“Climate change is real and climate change is caused by humans and climate change is solvable and we will not stop until Congress acts,” Schatz said.

Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) said Democrats’ attack on fossil fuels was “cruel” to his constituents.

“Families are losing work because of government attacks on the coal industry. Communities are hurting and tonight you’re going to hear 30 hours of excuses from a group of people who think that’s ok,” McConnell said at the beginning of the evening. “Well it’s not ok. It’s cruel.” McConnell has accused President Obama of waging a “war on coal” by ordering the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to regulate carbon emissions at coal power plants.

McConnell, who is facing a difficult reelection race, also blasted billionaire environmentalist Tom Steyer, who plans to funnel a reported $10 million into key races that could make or break Democrats in their fight to retain the Senate majority.

More on Senator McConnell

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