Dem. Sen. Compares Climate Change to Steroids in Sports After Private Meeting with League Officials

Dem. Sen. Compares Climate Change to Steroids in Sports After Private Meeting with League Officials

On Thursday, Sen. Ed Markey (D-MA) compared “climate change” to steroids in sports after Democrats on the Bicameral Task Force on Climate Change met with officials from major sports leagues like the NFL, NBA, MLB, NHL and the United States Olympic Committee behind closed doors. 

“Whether it’s the slow death of pond hockey or increasing heat for football practices, global warming is negatively affecting the games we play and the sports we love,” Markey said. “And just like steroids have distorted some of our sports records, carbon pollution is distorting our climate, breaking records and leading to more extreme weather.”

The Bicameral Task Force on Climate Change met with representatives from sports leagues “to discuss the effects of climate change on these leagues and the work the organizations are doing to reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions.”

The Task Force is co-chaired by Reps. Henry Waxman (R-CA), Bobby Rush (D-IL), Earl Blumenauer (D-OR) and Sens. Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI), Ed Markey (D-MA), and Ben Cardin (D-MD), and it aims to “to focus congressional and public attention on climate change and to develop effective policy responses” to what they claim is an “urgent challenge.”

“Congress can learn a lot about climate change from the leagues,” Waxman said in a statement. “They recognize the problem is real, they recognize the threat it poses to their sports, and they are acting to protect the environment.”

Whitehouse added that “major sports organizations are taking climate change seriously and doing their part to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, because they know that few things define American society like the teams we cheer and the games we play.”

“Now it is time for Congress to set aside the polluter-fueled fantasies, and join these leagues in addressing climate change,” he said. 

According to the Task Force, the NBA supports more “stringent fuel standards and additional clean energy research and development investment,” the NFL “is engaged in a number of projects that help mitigate climate change” and “measures the greenhouse gas impact of the Super Bowl and uses renewable energy offsets to green its power usage and mitigate team travel emissions.” In addition, “multiple MLB stadiums have adopted solar panel systems (AT&T Park in San Francisco, Chase Field in Phoenix, Fenway Park in Boston) or wind turbines (Progressive Field in Cleveland) to generate energy with a lower carbon footprint.”

Democrats in Congress and the Obama administration have previously tried to partner with sports leagues–to no avail–on issues like Obamacare.