Posts tagged with "Green New Deal"

AOC: No ‘snub’ in absence from Speaker Pelosi’s Climate Change Committee

February 8, 2019

On February 7, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (California) named eight Democrats to the new special Climate Change Committee, but Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez  of New York was not among them.

Speaking to Newsweek after the story on the committee broke, Ocasio-Cortez—known in the media as “AOC”—stressed that she had turned down the position after it was offered by Pelosi and that her absence from the committee was not a “snub.”

AOC, who unveiled her progressive Green New Deal program on the same day, told Newsweek that her rationale for continuing to push her own legislation instead of joining the committee was, “[It’s an] …investigatory body. They’re tackling the investigative piece. And right now, we’re tackling the legislative piece.” She also pointed to her involvement in other House panels that would address climate change initiatives.

The new panel announced by Pelosi—which is charged with examining climate change and steps to mitigate it—will include lawmakers with a wide range of tenures, including three freshmen, The Hill reported.

This new Select Committee will spearhead Democrats’ work to develop innovative, effective solutions to prevent and reverse the climate crisis,” Pelosi said in a statement. “It will generate the energy and action required to permanently reduce pollution so that we can honor our responsibility to be good stewards of the planet for future generations.”

The Democratic members are Representatives Ben Ray Luján (New Mexico), Suzanne Bonamici (Oregon), Julia Brownley (California), Sean Casten (Illinois), Jared Huffman  California.), Mike Levin (California), A. Donald McEachin (Virginia) and Joe Neguse (Colorado).

Neguse, one of the freshmen on the panel, tweeted on Thursday, “Excited to represent Colorado and the Rocky Mountain West on the Select Committee on Climate. I hope to be avoice for my generation by advocating for bold, progressive solutions on climate change. #ActOnClimate.”

Pelosi previously named Rep. Kathy Castor (D-Florida) to be chairwoman of the committee.

The Republican members of the panel have not yet been named. House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-California) is responsible for picking the GOP lawmakers.

Research contact: @Timothy_Cama

Grim climate report galvanizes incoming Democrats

November 27, 2018

Federal scientists warned in a new report released on November 23 that “more frequent and intense extreme weather- and climate-related events, as well as changes in average climate conditions, are expected to continue to damage infrastructure, ecosystems, and social systems that provide essential benefits to communities nationwide” in the coming years—with costs threatening to reach hundreds of billions of dollars annually by the middle of this century.

The message, echoing decades of sobering conclusions from the world’s leading climate scientists, is at odds with President Donald Trump’s repeated denial of global warming, Politico reported; noting that the administration chose to release it on Black Friday, the busiest shopping day and one of the slowest news days of the year.

But despite the timing, the report—Fourth National Climate Assessment—is bound to energize the new class of progressive Democrats set to take control of the House in January, the political news outlet predicted—saying that “Many of them, led by incoming Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-14th District, New York) already are pushing for an expansive “Green New Deal” as one of the rallying cries the party would take into the 2020 campaign.

The 1,600-plus-page document is the just the most recent to warn that the planet will see devastating changes. Indeed, the researchers warned, “Extreme weather and climate-related impacts on one system can result in increased risks or failures in other critical systems—including water resources, food production and distribution, energy and transportation, public health, international trade, and national security.”

The effects of global warming are expected to alter the coastlines, worsen droughts and storms, and foster the outbreaks of dangerous diseases as temperatures climb.

And while the report said that quick action to reduce greenhouse gas pollution could dramatically affect the state of the planet by the end of the century, many of the impacts the U.S. will see in the next two decades appear irreversible—both on the environment and on the economy. “With continued growth in emissions at historic rates, annual losses in some economic sectors are projected to reach hundreds of billions of dollars by the end of the century—more than the current gross domestic product (GDP) of many U.S. states.”

Representative Eddie Bernice Johnson (D-30th District, Texas) who is set to take the gavel at the House Science Committee, said it’s time to start addressing the causes of the wildfires, devastating storms, coastal flooding and toxic algae blooms that plagued much of the U.S. this year, Politico reported. “That is why I have made climate change one of my top priorities for the Committee going in to the next Congress,” she said in a statement.

The government officials who oversaw the report said there had been no political influence over its findings, but they sidestepped questions about whether the White House sought to bury the report by releasing it in the middle of a long holiday weekend, Politico said.

“We hope you will focus on the content of the report,” David Reidmiller, the director of the National Climate Assessment, told reporters. “We think the report speaks for itself.”

Ocasio-Cortez pressed the case in a tweet, taking her Democratic colleagues to task: “People are going to die if we don’t start addressing climate change ASAP. It’s not enough to think it’s ‘important.’ We must make it urgent,” she wrote. “That’s why we need a Select Committee on a Green New Deal, & why fossil fuel-funded officials shouldn’t be writing climate change policy.

The White House tried to downplay the new report’s conclusions Friday, claiming that they are “largely based on most extreme scenarios.” The White House also noted that U.S. greenhouse gas pollution has declined 14% since 2005—although the causes of that drop include trends that Trump opposes, such as a shift away from coal-fired power plants.

The new report, which Congress requires to be issued every four years, was released by U.S. Global Change Research Program. It is the product of 300 scientific experts under the guidance of a 60-member federal advisory committee, and it was open to review by the public, 13 federal agencies, and a panel at the National Academy of Sciences.

Research contact: @dailym1