Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse


Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse has reintroduced carbon tax legislation to help reduce greenhouse gas emissions and boost the economy.

If approved, this revised carbon tax bill would start at $45 per ton starting next year, and increase each year by two percent.

Ambar Espinoza / RIPR

Last week, we brought you the story of West Virginia Sen. Joe Manchin’s visit to Rhode Island. Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse brought the Democratic senator, a strong coal advocate, to witness how climate change is wearing away the landscape here. Manchin learned from fishermen what challenges they’re facing in a changing ocean. Rhode Island Public Radio’s environmental reporter Ambar Espinoza brings you the second part of this story, when Manchin sees the effects climate change is having on land. 

Ambar Espinoza / RIPR

Rapidly rising sea levels and severe weather threaten every community and natural habitat in the Ocean State, not just along the coast. Through a new ongoing series we’re calling, Battle With The Sea, Rhode Island Public Radio will examine the range and scope of these threats from city to city and town to town, and the solutions to prepare and strengthen Rhode Island for future threats to come.

Ambar Espinoza / RIPR

Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse invited world famous marine scientist Sylvia Earle to speak to and inspire local environmental leaders at his fifth annual Energy & Environmental Leaders Day.

For too long we’ve tapped into natural resources thinking they’d always be there, said Earle. She cautioned worldwide our “life support” is collapsing, such as coral reefs, kelp forests, and even the marine plants that produce half of the oxygen in the air we breathe.

Ambar Espinoza / RIPR

Climate change is one of the country’s most serious public health threats, said Gina McCarthy, the head the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. She spoke to a large crowd of local energy and environmental leaders at an annual conference today hosted by Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse. 

McCarthy shared one example of a direct public health threat.

A few Burrillville residents and climate change activists staged a sit-in at Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse’s office in downtown Providence this morning. They want him to oppose the expansion of an existing natural gas pipeline system.

Spectra Energy's proposed expansion is designed to give the Algonquin Gas Transmission pipeline from New York more capacity to help meet Southern New England’s immediate and future natural gas demands. It would require the upgrade of six compression stations, including one in Burrillville.

Courtesy of U.S. Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse

Climate change is real, but solvable. That’s the message Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse and nearly 30 other  U.S. Democratic senators want to send to Congress as they pull an all-night session on the Senate floor tonight.

In a teleconference, the president of the League of Conservation Voters said gathering nearly 30 senators from at least 20 states to talk about climate change is unprecedented. Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse added that tonight’s speeches are a sign Congress can pass a climate bill, but there’s more work to do.

August Linnman / Creative Commons

Nearly $33 million in disaster relief money will soon flow to help New England fishermen hurting from declining fish stocks and tighter fishing limits. The federal government declared a fisheries disaster last year in Rhode Island. Sens. Jack Reed and Sheldon Whitehouse, and Reps. Jim Langevin and David Cicilline joined other congressional leaders to include $74 million in fisheries disaster in the fiscal year 2014 appropriations bill.


Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse has introduced legislation to re-authorize the National Estuary Program, which would benefit Narragansett Bay.

The program was first established in 1987 by the late Republican Senator John Chafee. It aimed to protect and restore estuaries from pollution and overdevelopment. An estuary is the area where fresh water meets the ocean.

Courtesy Whitehouse Office

In Washington D.C., Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse will talk with Alaska Natives this morning to find out how extreme coastal erosion caused by climate change may force them to relocate from their village.

The Bicameral Task Force on Climate Change, co-chaired by Sen. Whitehouse and Ca. Rep. Henry Waxman, is hosting five residents from the Alaskan village of Shishmaref.

Courtesy of U.S. Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse

Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse and Sen. Barbara Boxer (D-CA) announced a new initiative aimed at pushing for urgent action on climate change.  

This is one of several efforts by Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse to address climate change. He’s delivered weekly speeches on the issue for more than a year and formed the Bicameral Task Force on Climate Change last year with Rep. Henry Waxman (D-CA).

U.S. Capitol

The U.S. Senate had its Secret Santa gift exchange, and one of Rhode Island’s senators bowed out of the fun. For the last three years Minnesota Sen. Al Franken has arranged the bipartisan Secret Santa. But Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse said he loves to torment his friend, Sen. Franken, by refusing to take part in the affair.

Whitehouse said Sen. Majority Leader Harry Reid also passes up the chance to swap a cheap gift with a fellow U.S. Senator.