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1. CLIMATE

Which Senate committee will take the lead on climate change policy?

When it comes to climate change, the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee is beginning to look like a scene from "Les Misérables" with Democrats and Republicans barricaded on opposite sides of the issue preparing to do battle. Sen. Barbara Boxer (D-Calif.), the panel's chairwoman, has pledged to move climate change to the front burner in the 113th Congress, creating a staff position for a new counsel on climate change while scheduling hearings and preparing legislation on the issue. On the other side, newly minted EPW Committee ranking member David Vitter (R-La.) appears to be bent on showing that he is no less opposed to U.S. EPA and action on climate change than his predecessor, Sen. James Inhofe (R-Okla.).

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