Democrats reveal radical plan to tackle climate change

“It will be a fight as long as it takes,” spokeswoman Nancy Pelosi said Tuesday. “We will convert this report into law, saving the planet. Democrats know that the climate crisis is the essential crisis of our time. “

The document produced by the House Select Committee on Climate Crisis contains no input from Republicans, who have consistently ridiculed any climate change policy like the Green New Deal, a reference to the plan led last year by progressive representative Alexandria Ocasio -Cortez (DN.Y.) and Senator Ed Markey (D-Mass.) Who called for a reform of the US economy to combat climate change.

Trump has taken over that program and has even tried to characterize a new infrastructure package, on the floor of the House this week, as “full of wasteful initiatives of the ‘New Green Agreement'”. He is expected to continue to criticize the issue he has dismissed as “child talk” that would “kill our country” despite polls showing voters want aggressive action on climate change and a greater deployment of clean energy.

Presumptive Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden welcomed the work of House Democrats in a statement Tuesday.

“Vice President Biden applauds President Pelosi, Congresswoman Castor and House Democrats for continuing to make tackling climate change a priority for our country,” said a Biden campaign spokesperson. “As president, he will work with Congress to implement a bold agenda that addresses the climate emergency, achieves environmental justice, and creates well-paying jobs that provide an opportunity to join a union.”

The plan also received praise from the Sunrise Movement, a group of climate-focused youth activists that helped lead the push for the Green New Deal, although Lauren Maunus, the group’s legislative manager, said it could have been stronger.

“That is a real sign that young people are changing politics in this country and the establishment is struggling to catch up,” Maunus said in a statement. “This plan is more ambitious than anything we’ve seen since the Democratic leadership so far, but it still needs to go further to match the full scale of the crisis.”

At an event to reveal the plan, Democrats touted an analysis by Independent energy consultancy Energy Innovation, which predicted that, if enacted, its measures would prevent 62,000 premature deaths annually by 2050 and offer nearly $ 8 trillion in cumulative health and climate benefits.

“We are launching a transformative roadmap to resolve the climate crisis,” said representative Kathy Castor (D-Fla.), Chair of the committee. “We have a plan to build a 100 percent clean energy economy. And we will do it fairly and inclusive. “

Republicans on the Climate Crisis Committee, led by senior Rep. Garret Graves (La.), Released a statement saying they were “disappointed.” Democrats did not allow them to help design the plan, but said they would seek to help craft measures as Congress considers further relief from the Covid-19 pandemic.

“It pays to follow bipartisan recommendations to increase the resilience of our communities and address global emissions, while strengthening the American economy and getting families back to work,” Republican lawmakers said in their joint statement. “We hope this effort continues in the committee.”

The new document offers policy recommendations in almost all sectors of the economy. Calls on Congress to establish a Clean Energy Standard to achieve net net emissions in the electricity sector within two decades and, at the same time, require all cars to have zero emissions by 2035 and heavy trucks to be 100 percent zero emissions by 2040.

It is projected to reduce methane emissions from pipelines by 90 percent by 2030 compared to 2012 levels, double funding for public transportation, and make large investments in energy efficiency programs. The roadmap calls for an economy-wide carbon price as “a single tool to complement a set of policies to achieve profound reductions in pollution and strengthen community resistance to climate impacts,” noting that rapid fixation of Carbon pricing is not a “silver bullet”.

Echoing legislation, from the president of the Chamber of Natural Resources, Raúl Grijalva (D-Ariz.), the roadmap calls for the net net emissions from the nation’s lands and public waters to be reached by 2040, including a one-year moratorium on new oil, gas and coal leases on public land that would be accompanied by “solid” funds to help fossil fuel communities transition to other economic opportunities. It also provides for a ban on all new offshore drilling “in any region of the outer continental shelf.”

“Addressing climate change cannot be done with a single bill because the problem is caused by so many related political flaws,” Grijalva said in a statement. “The public rightly demands that Congress stop paying attention to climate policy and start saving lives by making fundamental reforms.”

Environmental justice provisions are central to his long list of recommendations, including a major bill by Grijalva and Representative Donald McEachin (D-Va.). The roadmap points to the murder of George Floyd on its front page and calls the protests in response “reminders of the consequences of past inaction.”

“Building a clean and resilient economy gives us another opportunity: to recognize and commit to correcting the previous political flaws that created the climate crisis and the systemic economic and racial inequalities that affect our communities today,” he concludes.

The report marks the climax of the 18-month mandate of the Select Committee on Climate Crisis, which Democrats resurrected after taking office in 2018. But it is unclear how it will report extensive and sometimes conflicting momentum from Democrats on the Chamber on climate change. .

The Energy and Commerce Committee issued a bill in January calling for zero net greenhouse gas emissions in the construction, industrial, transportation and electricity sectors by 2050. Many of those proposals are also included in the package of massive infrastructure and recovery that the House is considering this week.

A Pelosi spokesperson told POLITICO that this week’s HR 2 consideration represents the vote on climate change legislation that he promised would take place in this Congress, noting that many Republicans cite its environmental and energy provisions to oppose it.

Major environmental groups and Evergreen Action, a collection of former Washington Gov. Jay Inslee presidential campaign employees, praised the document as an indication of how seriously Democrats treat the issue and urged former Vice President Joe Biden to prioritize, if it is chosen one.

“The House Select Committee’s plan represents a major shift in Congressional leaders’ focus on climate policy, toward a more urgent plan based on clean energy, investment and environmental justice standards,” Evergreen Action said in a statement. . “The House Select Committee’s plan provides a proven formula for Congress to lead a climate policy that matches the scale and urgency of the crisis.”

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