With the GOP getting ready to take charge of the U.S. House, the U.S. House Select Committee on the Climate Crisis is expected to be shut down next month.
U.S. Rep. Kathy Castor, D-Fla., the chairwoman of the select committee, weighed in recently and insisted the committee made a difference.
“With incredible pride in the progress we made for a more livable planet and lower-cost clean energy, we close out the House Select Committee on the Climate Crisis at the end of this Congress. I am grateful to our members and professional staff for answering the call to service,” said Castor. “Speaker Pelosi created our committee to develop the policies and build the coalitions to solve one of the most urgent crises facing our people and our communities. She appointed incredible leaders, knowing they’d bring a deep sense of duty and unique perspectives to this fight. And we got right to work. We listened to the dire warnings from the world’s top scientists. We channeled the passion of climate protests into meaningful action. We cast a wide net for fresh, innovative policy prescriptions. And all of that led to the landmark Climate Crisis Action Plan that charted a path forward to solve the climate crisis.”
Castor showcased the document–which clocked in at more than 140 pages–as she readied to leave her post.
“That Action Plan is the roadmap Congress used to turn hundreds of climate solutions into law, solutions that are already creating good-paying jobs and helping to lower the cost of energy across America. As of today, House Democrats have passed 438 of our report’s 715 policy recommendations on the House Floor – and turned 314 of those into law. These solutions are positioning our workers to lead the global economy and bolster our domestic manufacturing. They’re making communities more resilient to climate-fueled disasters. And they’re bringing the benefits of the clean economy to environmental justice communities,” Castor said.
“We have so much to be proud of, but we have much more to do. It’s disappointing that Republicans in Congress have decided to dismantle our climate committee, because our work remains urgent. Ignoring the climate crisis is not an option. And climate disasters are inflicting billions in damages across the country. That’s why House Democrats have used the power of our majority to lower costs, build safer communities, and unleash American innovation to solve the climate crisis. We passed the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law to make communities more resilient and electrify transportation; we passed the CHIPS and Science Act to empower our industries to lead the clean energy transition; and we passed the Inflation Reduction Act, the largest clean energy and climate investment in U.S. history, just to name a few. Our workers are racing to manufacture the batteries, technologies, and vehicles of the future. Families are ready to save money with cheap wind and solar and more efficient appliances. And our kids will reap the benefits of clean school buses, clean postal trucks, and more investments to reduce pollution,” Castor added.
“While the Select Committee on the Climate Crisis officially ends with the 117th Congress, the fight for climate action must continue – guided by science, rooted in justice, and powered by American workers. Our Report and Action Plan will live on as the roadmap for further progress. And Democrats will keep guiding the way toward a clean energy economy and a heathy, resilient, just, and stronger America,” she said in conclusion.
Outgoing U.S. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., praised Castor and the committee.
“Today’s report by the Select Committee on the Climate Crisis reflects the extraordinary progress forged under our House Democratic Majority – enormous strides made possible by the Select Committee’s trailblazing leadership, invaluable insights and relentless work. At the same time, the Select Committee’s findings make clear that more must be done to build the cleaner, greener, more sustainable future that our children deserve,” Pelosi said. “For four years, Chair Kathy Castor and the Select Committee have been at the heart of the Democratic Congress’ fight to save our planet: mobilizing support, shaping a bold vision and crafting unprecedented legislative action. Their work formed the foundation of Democrats’ Inflation Reduction Act, helping to deliver the largest climate investment in human history. This transformative legislation is delivering the tools America needs to slash carbon pollution by 40 percent this decade and move toward a net-zero, clean energy future. The Select Committee has also played a key role in House Democrats’ work to bolster climate resilience in underserved communities with our Infrastructure Law and invest in next-generation energy technologies with our CHIPS and Science Act. Indeed, nearly half of the recommendations in the Select Committee’s 2020 Climate Crisis Action Plan have been enacted into law — and House Democrats remain committed to fighting for more.
“Today’s report is a playbook for the next Congress – yet House Republicans continue to treat the climate crisis like a hoax. Meanwhile, President Biden and House Democrats will never relent in our mission to preserve God’s Creation for future generations. As I made clear at COP27, alongside Chair Castor and our distinguished Congressional delegation: America is all in to fight the climate crisis,” Pelosi added.
“We don’t see a scenario where the ‘Climate Crisis Committee,’ a creature of Pelosi, will continue to exist,” the office of U.S. Rep. Garret Graves, R-La., who leads Republicans on the committee, told The Hill. “Garret is committed to delivering on the energy components of the Commitment to America and will be intimately involved in making sure that happens.”
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