Addressing climate change is a financial risk for the coal and oil industries, it’s true. But Senator Sheldon Whitehouse pointed out in a congressional committee today that not addressing climate change has already adversely affected jobs right here in Rhode Island.
“I’m prepared to accept that there are going to be economic impacts on families that you are here to represent,” Whitehouse said in the Environmental and Public Works Committee today. “And it’s important that in our solution we address that concern, because that’s a legitimate concern. What I can’t accept is that the coal and oil jobs are the only jobs that are at stake in this discussion … not when fishermen in Rhode Island are no longer catching winter flounder because Narragansett Bay is three or four degrees warmer in the winter.”
He went on to point out other economic impacts climate change is having on the Ocean State’s economy:
“We are losing our state at the coastal verge,” he said, “The houses at Roy Carpenter’s beach are falling into the ocean I am not going to ignore those factors out of a desire to protect coal and oil jobs. I will work with you to a solution that solves our mutual concerns and helps those industries but I am not going to ignore those problems.”
You can watch the full five minute video here: