US Democrats form joint task force on climate change
Congressman Henry Waxman of California, the senior Democrat on the Energy and Commerce Committee, and Senator Sheldon Whitehouse formed a joint task force on climate change after US President Barack Obama vowed to address the issue during his inaugural address.
Waxman and Whitehouse, a Rhode Island Democrat and chairman of the oversight subcommittee for the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee, will co-chair the task force.
The lawmakers sent a letter to Obama "urging him to develop a comprehensive climate change plan as expeditiously as possible".
Obama said in his address on Monday that he would make climate change a priority in his second term.
The letter was also signed by Representative Edward Markey of Massachusetts, the senior Democrat on the Natural Resources Committee.
"Congress and the public need to understand that climate change impacts are turning out worse than expected and our window to act is closing," Waxman said.
House Democratic leader Nancy Pelosi created the Select Committee on Energy Independence and Global Warming in 2007.