'Help is On the Way'

For most environmentalists, last month's election results brought hope of better things to come. The priorities of the green movement were generally believed to be more in line with the incoming government than with many of the outgoing senators and representatives. This suspicion was recently confirmed by Sen. Barbara Boxer, the incoming chairwoman of the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee. On Tuesday, the California senator announced that the committee would pursue legislation on climate change. Boxer stated that beginning in January, the committee would hold hearings on global warming to develop bipartisan consensus with input from industry, environmental groups, faith-based organizations, and technology developers. Although Boxer said she would hold California's recent legislation on climate change as a "gold standard", she acknowledged that a less aggressive measure might have to be introduced to achieve a majority in the Senate. Boxer also promised vigilant oversight of the EPA with respect to the new source review and particulate matter standards. In addition, she promised to reauthorize the Water Resources Development Act and to work to protect against exposure to toxic chemicals. As Sen. Boxer said, it appears as if "help is on the way".