September 18, 2019

New Democrat Coalition Releases Priorities for U.S. Climate Policy


The New Democrat Coalition (NDC), led by Chair Derek Kilmer, NDC Vice Chair Scott Peters, and the NDC Climate Change Task Force Co-Chairs Reps. Don Beyer, Sean Casten, Elaine Luria, and Susan Wild, released policy principles and endorsed legislation to combat climate change. In doing so, the NDC seeks to address the climate challenge with the urgency the crisis demands and to embrace the notion that the U.S., through its powerful economy and culture of innovation, can be best positioned to be the global leader developing and producing the next generation technologies to help the international community combat climate change. 

 The NDC supports an ambitious agenda that leverages every decarbonization solution available to advance a swift and just transition to a more sustainable planet and economy. The NDC intends to promote U.S. policies that are politically durable and long lasting and that build bipartisan consensus where possible. The NDC will work to advance climate policies that address the following principles and corresponding bills:

  1. Combatting climate change requires global action and American leadership.
    • H.R. 9 - Climate Action Now Act (Rep. Kathy Castor)
    • H.R. 3110 - Climate Security Intelligence Act (Rep. Denny Heck)
  2. Transitioning to a climate-forward economy represents an opportunity to mobilize our economy and create high quality jobs.
    • H.R. 1166 - USE IT Act (Rep. Scott Peters)
    • H.R. 3306 - Nuclear Energy Leadership Act (Rep. Elaine Luria)
    • H.R.4230 - Clean Industrial Technology Act (Rep. Sean Casten)
    • H.R.3423 - National Green Bank Act (Rep. Jim Himes)
    • H.R.4091 - Advanced Research Projects Agency – Energy (ARPA-E) Reauthorization Act (Rep. Eddie Bernice Johnson)
    • H.R. 2597 - Clean Energy Standard Act (Rep. Ben Ray Luján)
    • H.R. 2711 - Methane Waste Prevention Act (Rep. Diana DeGette)
    • H.R. 4143 – Super Pollutants Act (Rep. Scott Peters)
  3. Enacting a climate-forward agenda requires investing in communities, resilience and relief.
    • H.R. 4093 - National Ocean and Coastal Security Improvements Act (Rep. Don Beyer)
    • H.R.2156 - RECLAIM Act of 2019 (Rep. Matt Cartwright)

“The New Democrat Coalition looks forward to building on the work of many of our colleagues. We aim to make immediate progress toward our decarbonization goals by building bridges to groups historically resistant to facing the reality and magnitude of this threat, and accomplishing real, tangible, legislative progress that unleashes the economic opportunities of addressing the current and future impacts of climate change,” the principles read.

 “There’s no denying it: climate change is real and it requires bold action. In my neck of the woods, we are seeing tribal communities facing the prospect of having to move to higher ground.  Those who work in our fisheries and shellfish growers are seeing changing ocean chemistries threaten their livelihoods. And we have seen a growing threat of forest fires in my district, tribal communities, our nation, and our world. The American people are not just demanding action – but also leadership – to counter the threat of climate change,” said New Democrat Coalition Chair Derek Kilmer. “We know that, if we do this right, we can not only help our planet — we can create quality jobs and sustainable economic growth. I am proud of the leadership of the New Democrat Coalition that worked diligently to create policy principles to take action.”

“The climate crisis is the existential and moral issue of our time. It is a major threat to our health, economic prosperity, national security and to all future generations. We are experiencing its effects every day across the country. It is more important now than ever, to engage both the public and private sectors so we can do everything we can to reduce our carbon footprint. I’m proud that the New Democrat Coalition is putting forth a climate agenda that utilizes all the tools we have at our disposal to transition to more sustainable and clean energy,” said New Democrat Coalition Climate Change Task Force Co-Chair Don Beyer (VA-08).

New Democrat Coalition Climate Change Task Force Co-Chair Sean Casten (IL-06) said: “The Climate Crisis is the greatest existential threat to life on Earth today. It is a challenge to us all, but it is also perhaps the greatest economic opportunity of the last century. Seizing this moment, embracing the clean energy economy, and addressing the crisis will require bold action and comprehensive solutions. I am proud to be a co-chair of the New Democrat Coalition Climate Change Task Force which helped develop a pragmatic, forward-leaning vision for climate action that will help guide us as we develop and rollout policies to address the climate crisis. These principles not only underscore the urgency of this crisis, but also the complexity of the problem we must confront. Not all the solutions suggested here are flashy, but they are serious, market-driven, and address the problem head on. I want to thank my fellow co-chairs of the Task Force and the leadership of the New Dems for all their hard work on this document.”

 “I am proud to help lead the New Democrat Coalition Climate Change Task Force as we work to protect communities from sea level rise and accelerate our clean energy economy,” New Democrat Coalition Climate Change Task Force Co-Chair Elaine Luria (VA-02) said. “For Coastal Virginians, sea level rise, recurrent flooding, and extreme weather aren’t concerns for the future; they are problems we deal with every day. These Principles lay out a bold agenda that will cut pollution, protect military assets and coastal communities, and spur innovation and growth.”

“Climate change is an existential crisis that affects every aspect of our societies. The only way to solve a problem this big is to come together and seek perspectives from people and communities of different backgrounds, regions, and political parties. I am excited by this Coalition’s commitment to listening to communities to help develop policy initiatives that will move us toward a green economy, and move our planet toward a sustainable future that provides good-paying jobs to working and middle-class Americans. I am proud to help lead this group of innovative, dedicated members in creating commonsense policy solutions to one of the greatest challenges facing our country,” said New Democrat Coalition Climate Change Task Force Co-Chair Susan Wild (PA-07).

“Scientists say we have limited time to avoid the worst effects of climate change. These principles will guide our efforts as we work to meet the goals recommended by the international scientific community. This is another commitment to confront the climate crisis through achievable policies that will protect our planet, health, and communities for future generations,” said New Democrat Coalition Vice Chair Scott Peters (CA-52).

The principles and bills were endorsed by the NDC. Read the one-pager, the list of endorsed bills, statements of support, and the full principles. Watch the full press conference here.