Legislation to curb global warming will be a top priority for Sen. Barbara Boxer (D-Calif.), who will become chairman of the Environment and Public Works Committee in the new Congress. Boxer says she "will set a gold standard" for that envisioned bill "very close" to the measure her home state enacted Sept. 27, which reduces carbon emissions.

But with Democrats holding a slim Senate majority in 2007, Boxer says compromise is likely. "Will I get everything I want? No," she told reporters Dec. 5. But she adds that if Congress passes a climate change bill that gets half way to her goal, "I'll be very happy."

Boxer plans global warming hearings, which will take time to complete. She says she's trying to produce a bill in 2007 but adds that isn't a certainty.