July 29, 2020

New Democrat Coalition Members Urge House Action on Climate Change Legislation

Washington, DC – Today, the New Democrat Coalition (NDC) Climate Change Task Force and NDC Leadership Members sent a letter to Speaker Pelosi and Majority Leader Hoyer urging them to move NDC-endorsed climate bills have already passed out of committee and are ready for consideration by the full House.

These bills were highlighted in the Select Committee on Climate Crisis’s (SCCC) report as part of the potential path forward for congressional action to solve the climate crisis. The NDC applauded the release of the SCCC’s report, which provides a framework to achieve net-zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2050 through a just transition. The report references twenty New Dem-endorsed bills.

The letter reads:

“In recent years, the Trump administration has abandoned our global leadership role in confronting climate change. We cannot afford to apply short-sighted approaches to a long-term global crisis. The SCCC’s report is a critical step forward for our nation and the global community. The New Democrat Coalition looks forward to building on this work to make immediate progress toward our decarbonization goals, face the reality and magnitude of this crisis, and accomplish real, tangible, legislative progress that prioritizes the health of our communities and planet and unleashes the economic opportunities of a climate-forward economy.” 

“There is no debate that climate crisis is real and it’s past time for bold action. Already, our communities are experiencing the devastating impacts of our changing climate, which is why House action is so urgently needed,” said NDC Chair Derek Kilmer (WA-06). “The New Democrat Coalition has been leading the way in pursuing actionable and ambitious policies to combat climate change, and we urge House Leadership to take up the bills endorsed by the Coalition. The NDC looks forward to working with our colleagues to develop and pass real policy solutions to meet the crisis with the urgency it demands.”

“The best time to address the climate crisis was 20 years ago – the second best time was 10 years ago. Right now is our last chance, and the country desperately needs smart, informed climate and energy policy to lower emissions while strengthening our economy. I’m proud of the New Democrat Caucus’s policies to bring market-based solutions to combat the crisis and that is why we are urging House leadership to act on climate change now,” said NDC Climate Change Task Force Co-Chair Sean Casten (IL-06). 

“Our response to climate change cannot be short-sighted – we need deliberate, long-term solutions that match the severity and urgency of this existential threat. Right now, promoting public health is our highest priority, and ensuring clean air, clean water, and a healthy environment plays a key role. It is critical that we use the report released just a few weeks ago as a roadmap to immediate Congressional action to safeguard our planet, improve the health of our communities, and create new jobs in the process. Delaying cannot be an option,” said NDC Climate Change Task Force Co-Chair Susan Wild (PA-07).

“In Coastal Virginia, we experience the negative quality of life impacts of sea level rise and recurrent flooding on a regular basis. That is why I am proud to co-sign this letter, which urges Leadership to bring NDC-endorsed clean energy and climate bills to the floor as soon as possible,” said NDC Climate Change Task Force Co-Chair Elaine Luria (VA-02). 

The NDC has led on Congressional efforts on climate change. This Congress, the NDC released Priorities for U.S. Climate Policy and endorsed several pieces of legislation to combat the climate crisis. These principles and bills are aimed at leveraging every decarbonization solution available to advance a swift and just transition to achieve net-zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2050 at the latest. The NDC will continue to advocate for the advancement of these priorities and policies in Congress, and where possible, pursue bipartisan, politically-durable solutions that meet this crisis in both its urgency and duration. Advancing these bills would advance key components of the NDC’s 20 for 2020 Policy Agenda to “Lead Global Climate Action” and “Transition to a Climate-Forward Economy” priorities.

Read the full letter here or below.

July 29, 2020

 

Dear Speaker Pelosi and Majority Leader Hoyer,

As you both have said on countless occasions, Congress’s role of governing cannot be put on hold as we respond to the COVID-19 crisis. Issues that may seem to be unrelated at a surface level – such as infrastructure, appropriations, climate, and a public health emergency – are inextricably linked, and it is only by continuing to address each of these priorities that Congress can deliver for the people, and provide for a robust public health and economic recovery. This is, in part, why the New Democrat Coalition (NDC) eagerly welcomed and applauded the release of the Select Committee on Climate Crisis’s (SCCC) staff report, Solving the Climate Crisis: Congressional Action Plan for a Clean Energy Economy.

The SCCC’s report provides an ambitious, science-based roadmap for Congressional action to solve the climate crisis and is aligned with many of the NDC’s proposals and priorities. Earlier this Congress, the New Democrat Coalition, through our Climate Change Task Force, developed and released a framework of policy principles for combatting climate change and achieving net-zero emissions by 2050 at the latest, and endorsed several bills that would advance this agenda. The NDC is committed to addressing climate change with the urgency the crisis demands by embracing the U.S.’s role as a global leader and leveraging every decarbonization solution available to advance a swift and just transition to a more sustainable planet and economy. We believe that this requires any Congressional action to confront the climate crisis must be based on three key principles:

  1. Combatting climate change requires global action and American leadership.
  2. Transitioning to a climate-forward economy represents an opportunity to mobilize our economy and create high quality jobs.
  3. Enacting a climate-forward agenda requires investing in communities, resilience, and relief.

The SCCC’s report is built on the same principles as the NDC plan, and highlights NDC-endorsed climate change bills as part of the potential path forward. The NDC’s package of endorsed climate change bills presents forward-looking, politically durable solutions, many of which have bipartisan support. Climate change is a long-term problem that requires long-term solutions. It is critical that the legislation we pass today remain in effect for the long term if we are to create an ecosystem powerful and certain enough to shift the attitudes and practices of our entire nation.

As you plan the floor calendar for the fall and Congress seeks to follow the roadmap provided by the SCCC’s plan for Congressional action, we strongly urge you to prioritize bringing NDC-endorsed climate bills that have already been reported out by House Committees. The bills that are ready for floor action are:

  • H.R. 4230: Clean Industrial Technology Act - Rep. Sean Casten
  • H.R. 4091: Advanced Research Projects Agency Reauthorization Act - Rep. Eddie Bernice Johnson
  • H.R. 3597: The Solar Energy Research & Development Act - Rep. Ben McAdams
  • H.R. 2156: RECLAIM Act of 2019 - Rep. Matt Cartwright
  • H.R. 2088: To Amend the Energy Independence Security Act of 2007 and to Reauthorize the Energy Efficiency & Conservation Block Grant Program - Reps. Greg Stanton & Marc Veasey
  • H.R. 3623: The Climate Risk Disclosure Act - Rep. Sean Casten
  • H.R. 2986: The Better Energy Storage Technology (BEST) Act - Reps. Bill Foster & Sean Casten

In addition, there are several other bills, including those with bipartisan support, that have yet to move through their respective committees. We will work directly with those Committees to advocate for their advancement, and look forward to your support in bringing those forward for Floor consideration when they are ready.

In recent years, the Trump administration has abandoned our global leadership role in confronting climate change. We cannot afford to apply short-sighted approaches to a long-term global crisis. The SCCC’s report is a critical step forward for our nation and the global community. The New Democrat Coalition looks forward to building on this work to make immediate progress toward our decarbonization goals, face the reality and magnitude of this crisis, and accomplish real, tangible, legislative progress that prioritizes the health of our communities and planet and unleashes the economic opportunities of a climate-forward economy.

Sincerely,

NDC Climate Change Task Force Co-Chairs Don Beyer, Sean Casten, Elaine Luria, and Susan Wild, NDC Chair Derek Kilmer, NDC Vice Chairs Suzan DelBene, Ann McLane Kuster, Scott Peters, and Terri Sewell, NDC Whip Pete Aguilar, NDC Freshman Leadership Representative Chrissy Houlahan, NDC Freshman Whip Mikie Sherrill, NDC Chair Emeritus Jim Himes, NDC Leadership Members Ami Bera and Kathleen Rice, and NDC Climate Change Task Force Members Julia Brownley, Dean Phillips, Kim Schrier, Donna Shalala, and Tom Suozzi  

Cc:

Chair Kathy Castor, U.S. House Select Committee on the Climate Crisis

Chairman Frank Pallone, U.S. House Committee on Energy and Commerce

Chairwoman Eddie Bernice Johnson, U.S. House Committee on Science, Space and Technology

Chair Raúl M. Grijalva, U.S. House Committee on Natural Resources

  

Enclosed:

  1. NDC Principles for U.S. Climate Policy
  2. NDC Principles for U.S. Climate Policy, One Pager
  3. NDC Climate Bill Endorsements in the 116th Congress


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