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Senate Dems Ask Bush To Reopen Global Warming Office

A group of Senate Democrats are asking President Bush to reopen a federal office dedicated to studying the effects of climate change on developing countries.

The group, led by Sen. Robert Menendez of New Jersey, sent Bush a letter on Tuesday asking the president to reopen The Center for Capacity Building, which was created to help developing countries cope with the consequences of global warming as a part of the National Center for Atmospheric Research.

Democratic Sens. Bob Casey and John Kerry, as well as Vermont Independent Sen. Bernie Sanders also signed on the letter, which represents the latest antagonism in a long-running fight between Congressional Democrats and the administration over climate change policy.

In the letter, the senators said they were “astounded” that the CCB would be shut down at such a critical time.

“You have acknowledged the threat which global warming poses to our country and to our planet,” the senators wrote in the letter.

“Unfortunately, your actions do not seem to match your words. Your administration continues to undermine scientific research on global warming, and has now eliminated a productive program which connected this research with the people who need it most.”

The senators said that with the next round of international climate change negotiations looming, it was the “worst possible time to eliminate the CCB program.”