As many of you have probably already seen, the Midwest is facing severe weather, with the town of Washington, Illinois, already hit very badly:
"A confirmed large and extremely dangerous tornado" was spotted near Washington, Illinois, located about 145 miles (233 kilometers) southwest of Chicago, the National Weather Service said.
Photos taken at the scene showed structures were reduced to rubble and houses ripped open in Washington, Illinois.
"There is a lot of debris," Sara Sparkman, a spokeswoman for the health department of Tazewell County, Illinois, where Washington is located, told The Weather Channel. "We do know that shelters are being set up in some of the communities because people are being displaced out of their homes because of the storms that hit."
Sparkman added that the storm had caused damage in Washington and Pekin, south of Peoria.
It came out of a fast-moving storm system that was headed toward Chicago and threatened a large swath of the Midwest with dangerous winds, thunderstorms and hail, U.S. weather officials said.
Tornadoes don't normally occur in the Midwest in November. Peak-tornado season there occurs inJune and July. And, as we know, climate change increases the frequency and severity of such storms.
When I saw the tragic destruction of Washington and the ties to the broader issue of climate action, I wondered, "Who represents those towns in Congress?"
Republican Aaron Schock:
What do we know about Schock's record on climate issues?
Congressional Summary: Amends the Clean Air Act to prohibit the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) from promulgating any regulation of the emission of a greenhouse gas (GHG) to address climate change.
----Excludes GHGs from the definition of "air pollutant" for purposes of addressing climate change.
----Exempts from such prohibition existing regulations on fuel efficiency, research, or CO2 monitoring.
----Repeals and makes ineffective other rules and actions concerning GHGs.
He's signed the "No Climate Tax Pledge" put forth by the Koch Bros' Americans for Prosperity:
"I pledge to the taxpayers of my state, and to the American people, that I will oppose any legislation relating to climate change that includes a net increase in government revenue."
He also co-sponsored the Free Industry Act:
Amends the Clean Air Act to:
(1) exclude from the definition of the term "air pollutant" carbon dioxide, water vapor, methane, nitrous oxide, hydrofluorocarbons, perfluorocarbons, or sulfur hexafluoride; and
(2) declare that nothing in the Act shall be treated as authorizing or requiring the regulation of climate change or global warming.
Aaron Schock also voted against the Hurricane Sandy relief bill earlier this year.
I will be curious to see his response.
In the meantime, stay safe, Midwesterners!