Climate Change in Coastal Regions: Hearing Before the Committee on Energy and Natural Resources, United States Senate, One Hundred Tenth Congress: Second Session to Examine the Impacts of Climate Change on the Reliability Security, Economics, and Design of Critical Energy Infrastructure in Coastal Regions, May 13, 2008 [open pdf - 200KB]
From the opening statement of Honorable Jeff Bingaman: "This is an oversight hearing on climate-change impacts on our energy infrastructure. It's expected that within the next 50 years, we will see accelerated sea-level rise, increased storm intensity, and significant coastal erosion. The consequences of these events should not be underestimated. As a Nation, we've begun to consider mitigation efforts aimed at reducing greenhouse gas emissions, as it's now generally accepted that some level of climate change is occurring. There has been little focus so far on how changes in climate will affect our current and future energy needs. I'm concerned that in many communities facilities are being developed without adequate consideration of the potential cost of protecting or relocating them from sealevel rise-related erosion and flooding and storm damage. Much of our energy infrastructure has been built based on our knowledge of historical climate conditions, but since our climate is changing, energy infrastructures which are optimal today may not be, in the future. The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change states that it's very likely that we will see 2 stronger, more destructive hurricanes and typhoons, accelerated sea-level rise, and changing weather patterns in coming years. A significant portion of our Nation's critical energy infrastructure is concentrated in coastal areas that are vulnerable to natural hazards and changes in climate. This infrastructure forms the heart of a nationally and globally interdependent energy system. There was a significant loss of natural-gas supplies in the Gulf of Mexico. The disruptions increased United States energy prices and threatened to create significant shortages of fuel for home heating and electric power generation in New England. There's currently a need to consider how to incorporate future changes in environmental conditions as new infrastructure expansion plans are developed and implemented. Today, we'll hear testimony on what's needed to create a more resilient and adaptable infrastructure in response to the inevitable impacts and challenges that climate change will present." Statements, letters and materials submitted for the record include those of the following: Jeff Bingaman, Virginia Burkett, Bob Corker, Larry E. Craig, Charles T. Drevena, Lisa Polak Edgar, Ted Flagout, Mary L. Landrieu, Mel Martinez, Terry Wallace, Thomas J. Wilbanks.
S. Hrg. 110-522; Senate Hearing 110-522
Government Printing Office, Congressional Hearings: http://www.gpoaccess.gov/chearings/index.html