U.S. policy shift on climate change is highlighted by new government report

Reader Contribution by Ramsey Cox

On Tuesday a White House commissioned research panel released its report saying climate change is affecting the U.S. The group, which is overseen by the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy, is required to report finding on climate effects on the environment ever 10 years.

The group reported that the average U.S. temperature has risen 2 degrees in the last 50 years and is expected to continue to rise at an increasing rate. The group findings were not revolutionary, but the announce comes at a key time when President Barack Obama is supporting a Congressional bill that would cap U.S. greenhouse gas emissions and when top United Nations climate officials concluded meetings Friday about the upcoming treaty negotiations at the United Nations Climate Summit in Copenhagen in December.

The Congressional bill written by Representatives Henry Waxman, Democrat from California and Ed Markey, Democrat from Massachusetts, passed in the House Energy and Commerce Committee and is expected to be voted on before the Congressional Fourth of July break.

The United Nations Climate Summit in December has been highly anticipated for Kyoto Protocol supporter. After last weeks meetings many climate officials are optimistic that a new better plan will emerge that gets more major countries such as the U.S. and China to sign the treaty.