If the Senate doesn't pass a bill to cut global warming, Democratic Sen. Barbara Boxer says, there will be dire results: droughts, floods, fires, loss of species,
damage to agriculture, worsening air pollution and more.
She says there's a huge upside, however, if the Senate does act: millions of clean-energy jobs, reduced reliance on foreign oil and less pollution for the nation's children.
Boxer is engaged in her biggest sales job ever. The stakes couldn't be higher as she faces one of the toughest high-profile acts of her lengthy career: getting Congress to sign off on historic legislation to lower greenhouse-gas emissions.
"For Barbara Boxer , it's both the opportunity and a challenge of a lifetime," said Frank O'Donnell , the president of Clean Air Watch .
As the Senate's top-ranked environmentalist, Boxer heads the influential committee that began hearings on the issue this week. She's aiming to get her panel to pass a bill by the end of September. For months now, she's been meeting with senators one on one and hosting a group of about 30 senators for "Tuesday at 12" meetings to develop a strategy to win 60 votes, enough to overcome a Republican filibuster.
With a House of Representatives bill already approved, all eyes are on Boxer, who must overcome plenty of skepticism on Capitol Hill among her fellow Democrats.
"It's going to be a tough slog, but I'm excited about it. . . . I know that my Republican colleagues are going to try to do everything to stop it and distort it," Boxer said Friday in an interview.