Since becoming the first female chair of the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee in 2007, California Democrat Barbara Boxer has focused on combating climate change — calling on former Vice President Al Gore to testify, for instance, and advancing a cap-and-trade bill on carbon emissions. In November 2009, Boxer’s committee approved an energy and climate change bill despite a Republican-led boycott. Ultimately, the comprehensive legislation never made it to the Senate floor for a vote. Even Boxer concedes that Republican gains this past November will make it virtually impossible to pass climate legislation in the upcoming congressional session. But Boxer has made clear she’s in the fight for the long haul.