Kitty Felde |

Environment and Public Works

We’ve all had the office from hell: an air conditioner that cooks you during winter and freezes you all summer. Or vice versa. But wouldn’t you think that the Senator who heads the powerful committee in charge of tackling climate change and overseeing public works projects would have an energy efficient office herself?

Two years ago, an interview with Barbara Boxer in her office included an unusual sound effect: an air conditioner in the background so loud it sounded like the Trevi Fountain. Last week, a visit to the Senator’s office revealed that the air conditioner from hell was still hissing and spitting like crazy.

In fairness, it may not be energy inefficient. Perhaps the office was even designed with an annoying air conditioner. And the Senator has pushed hard to replace incandescent bulbs in Capitol office buildings with fluorescents. But if Senator Boxer can’t get her own air conditioner fixed, how successful will Congress be at passing legislation that can reduce greenhouse gasses?