U.S. Rep. Henry Waxman (D-CA) and California State Sen. Fran Pavley (D-Agoura Hills) Friday cohosted a forum on climate change, which drew more than 400 attendees.

The legislators focused on California’s role as a national leader on climate policies, with emphasis on the California Global Warming Solutions Act (AB 32, which Pavley authored as chair of the Select Committee on Climate Change) and The American Clean Energy and Security Act (HR 2454, which Waxman authored as chair of the House Committee on Energy and Commerce).

The event was presented by the UCLA Institute of the Environment’s Center for Climate Change Solutions, the UCLA School of Law’s Emmett Center on Climate Change and the Environment, the UCLA Office of the Vice Chancellor for Research, and the UCLA Office of Government and Community Relations.

“The fact is that climate policy creates jobs and saves consumers money,” Pavley said. “The fear tactics of carbon industry-backed lobbyists just flies in the face of what is in our best interests.

“The whole world is depending on what the U.S. does,” she added. “The dependence on foreign oil—the ability for some countries to hold our country hostage, economically speaking—is going in the wrong direction.” 

“We had a president who censored the research that his scientists were doing on global warming,” Waxman said. “He and his political people denied there was global warming. We had eight years of inactivity rather than leadership.”

Ret. Navy Vice Admiral Dennis McGinn discussed the national-security dangers climate change poses, emphasizing the need for alternatives to all fossil fuels so the United States is less dependent on oil-producing countries. He said Americans use 25% of oil consumed worldwide each year, but we can produce no more than 3% of it.

 ”We cannot drill our way to sustained economic security,” he concluded. 

Editor’s note: Click here to watch Pavley’s recent PBS interview. 

For Your Organic Bookshelf: State of the World 2009: Into a Warming World