Liberal Senate Democrats who are launching a new effort to seize the political offensive on climate change say they have enthusiastic backing from the chamber's Democratic leadership team.
Senate Environment and Public Works Committee Chairwoman Barbara Boxer and Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse on Thursday announced a new Climate Action Task Force.
Whitehouse told reporters at a briefing that Majority Leader Harry Reid supports their efforts to raise the visibility of the topic.
"I think Harry Reid has really shifted to a more supportive and positive and enthusiastic strategy," the Rhode Island Democrat said. "A lot of the things that we are doing involve getting his blessing, and we have that."
Reid praised the new effort in a statement, citing a "moral obligation" to future generations to address climate change. "I'm pleased that these and other Senators are coming together to bring greater attention to climate change and extreme weather and the need to do something about it," he said.
Whitehouse also said that Sen. Chuck Schumer has agreed to have more climate-related speakers at the regular Thursday meetings of the Democratic Policy and Communications Center, a group the New York Democrat chairs. Al Gore spoke to the group late last year.