Jansing and Co | November 01, 2012
>>> a select number of subway lines in new york city are up and running again this morning. but millions are still without power on this long road to recovery from hurricane sandy. take a look at some new and chilling images. these are from the jersey shore . so many homes destroyed. the entire beach front completely washed out in many towns. the storm is responsible, we're told, for at least 74 deaths. meantime, 5 million plus are still without power in new york, new jersey, and connecticut. that includes lower manhattan as well. it could be several more days before the lights are back on. in some flooded areas like hoboken, new jersey, it could take several days just to pump the water out. some resident there is are still stranded in their homes and the national guard has been helping. joining me now, democratic congressman ed markee of new jersey. good to see you, congressman.
>> good morning.
>> obviously, the immediate questions are about cleanup and making sure the people are safe. this has raised questions by a lot of people about, is this about climate change ? a new article in the "new york times" says scientists are not sure if the storm was caused or made worse by human-induced global warming . i wonder what your take is and what this means to the conversation.
>> well, i don't think there's any question that this is related to climate change . the oceans off of the northeast coast are at historic highs in terms of temperatures. that's additional heat going into the system. that leads to actually higher seas. that leads ultimately to the much greater harm which can be done in new jersey and connecticut in new york city . so there's no question it's related. it's intensifying. earlier this year an iceberg twice the size of manhattan actually broke off of greenland. this is intensifying, and we just basically have to change course or else what we're going to see, what we're seeing here is going to be repeated over and over and over again. this is $50 billion, perhaps, in damages. that's an extreme weather tax that's going to have to be paid rather than trying to avoid the worst consequences, which would be a much better pathway.
>> there are other politicians who have brought this up. let me play a couple clips from the last few days.
>> anyone who says there's not a dramatic change in weather patterns i think is denying reality. i would like to say that this is probably the last occurrence we will have. i don't believe that.
>> what is clear is that the storms that we've experienced in the last year or so around this country and around the world are much more severe than before.
>> so if this is just the start, if it's going to be more of the same, what is your priority short term, and what do we need to be looking at long term?
>> well, the american people , they're concerned about mother nature . the republicans, mitt romney , they're concerned about the oil companies that are largely fueling the independent expenditures which are going into this presidential race. this frames the election on tuesday very well. on the one hand, mitt romney says he wants to keep tax breaks for big oil companies, but abolish them for wind energy , which does not emit any carbon dioxide . that's basically a frame which gives people a choice as to which direction they want to go in. president obama raised fuel economy standards to 55 miles per hour by the year 2025 . that not only backs out 3 million barrels of oil a day from the persian gulf , all of the oil they import from the persian gulf , but it also reduces one full year of carbon dioxide emissions into the atmosphere. mitt romney is saying he'll roll back those standards. all the way down the line, there's a sharp contrast here of, you know -- there are no emergency rooms for planets. we either engage in preventive care here and reduce the amount of greenhouse gases that go into the atmosphere, or we are going to see ever greater intensifying catastrophic events hitting our country and causing tremendous damage to the american people .
>> congressman, thanks so much for coming on the program. we