WASHINGTON, DC – The headline says it all. After nine months in the majority, all Democrats have to show on the climate “is a few appropriations amendments, a messaging bill that will never get a vote in the Senate and a plan to make a plan,” according to E&E News.
Reminder: last Congress, under Republican leadership, the Energy and Commerce Committee held hearings and passed legislation to protect clean air, clean water, and clean land. Under Republican leadership, the Energy and Commerce Committee passed legislation to boost clean energy and clean up nuclear waste, and held a 12-part hearing series on modernizing America’s electric grid. That is real progress.
Republican Priorities on Climate: Serious public policy focused on innovation, conservation, and preparation.
Democrat Priorities on Climate: Partisan messaging bills, resolutions, plans to make plans.
House Democrats have little to show on climate
By Nick Sobczyk
House Democrats gathered on the steps of the Capitol last week to celebrate their achievements in the first 200 days of the 116th Congress — including legislation to combat high drug prices and foreign interference in elections — but they didn’t say a word about climate change.
Progressive activists have put it on the top of their agenda this year, and it has enjoyed a significant amount of air time in the mainstream media, more so than in recent years.
But nine months after Democrats won back the House, all they have to show for it heading into the August recess is a few appropriations amendments, a messaging bill that will never get a vote in the Senate and a plan to make a plan.
“The Green New Deal isn’t legislation, and what I am interested in is legislation that is going to get us to addressing climate change,” said Barragán, who noted any climate legislation emerging from E&C still would need to address environmental justice issues, particularly the impact of the carbon tax on minority communities.
On Energy and Commerce, Republican leaders said they would continue their limited cooperation with Democrats on climate, even if that involves taking shots at the Green New Deal.
Ranking member Greg Walden (R-Ore.) said there is much the parties can agree on to combat climate change “short of the Green New Deal.” He cited several examples including energy grid modernization, an expanded federal tax credit for carbon sequestration and developing new clean energy technologies.
But in the Democratic Party, there are two major debates that need to be ironed out, as exemplified by E&C leadership’s decision to eschew the Green New Deal in favor of its own framework, said Snape, with the Center for Biological Diversity.
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