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Statement: House leaders release sweeping climate plan

Select Committee on the Climate Crisis sets ambitious path for federal climate action
For Immediate Release

WASHINGTON -- Led by U.S. Rep. Kathy Castor, Democrats on the Select Committee on the Climate Crisis released a comprehensive report Tuesday detailing policies and programs to tackle climate change at the federal level. The report is based on twelve pillars of action with the overall goal of achieving net zero carbon dioxide emissions in the United States by 2050. The focus includes transforming our transportation system, preserving natural resources and public lands, increasing clean energy, and improving clean water infrastructure. 

Wendy Wendlandt, acting president of Environment America, issued the following statement about the report:  

"Global warming is unlike any other problem, because it's woven into every aspect of how we live our lives. The select committee report reflects the wide range of deep changes we need to get a handle on climate change -- from the things we buy to the energy we use to the ways we treat the natural world. It's a bold blueprint at a time that requires bold action. We look forward to working with Americans from all parties and perspectives to make that vision a reality."

Environment America and U.S. PIRG’s issue experts issued the following statements on the specific pillars presented in the report:

Global warming

Andrea McGimsey, senior director, Global Warming Solutions Campaign:

“With a growing majority of Americans concerned about the impacts of climate change on their families and communities, we expect our elected leaders to act. 

“Rep. Castor and the Select Committee on the Climate Crisis are showing that’s possible. A better future is within our reach -- a future of clean energy, abundant natural lands, and a reimagined economy that puts care for people and the planet first. We hope today’s report launches a national conversation about how to build that future -- and tackle global warming -- together.”

Clean Transportation

Morgan Folger, Environment America’s Destination: Zero Carbon campaign director, said:

“Cars and trucks powered by fossil fuels must be relegated to the history books. By calling for 100 percent zero-emission car sales by 2035 and zero-emission heavy-duty trucks by 2040, the select committee would put America on a path to cleaner, healthier transportation.”  

Matt Casale, U.S. PIRG Transportation Campaign director, said:

“Transportation is climate enemy No. 1 in America, and the select committee report proposes a bold agenda for change. Doubling funding for public transportation, especially if paired with efforts to make our communities more walkable and bikeable, would make it easier for Americans to drive less and live more.”

Renewable energy

Johanna Neumann, senior director of Environment America’s Campaign for 100% Renewable Energy, said:

“The select committee report lays out ambitious recommendations to help transition America to a future powered by cleaner, greener energy. Sensible and necessary steps such as eliminating global warming emissions from the electricity sector by 2040, expanding federal clean energy tax incentives, and prioritizing energy efficiency and conservation will advance meaningful action. It’s the type of action that can’t come too soon.” 

Conservation 

Steve Blackledge, senior director of Environment America’s Conservation America Campaign, said:

“Whether you’re on the coast of New England, in Hawaii or inland, Americans understand and appreciate the overwhelming value of our natural heritage and our obligation to safeguard it for future generations. We are glad to see the House select committee recognize conservation of our public lands and waters as a core solution to the mounting threat of climate change. We look forward to working with congressional members to set a national goal of protecting 30 percent of our lands and oceans by 2030.” 

Ocean conservation

Kelsey Lamp, advocate for Environment America’s Protect Our Oceans Campaign, said: 

“No drilling means no spilling. As America breaks our dependence on oil, we can also eliminate the threat that offshore oil disasters pose to our beaches. The select committee's call for a ban on new offshore oil leasing is a key step toward protecting marine life and pristine beaches, which are at risk of a spill. In an era when oceans are showing the increasingly acute effects of global warming, we need our decision-makers to act to safeguard this rich source of so much of the world’s life.”

Recycling

Alex Truelove, U.S. PIRG’s director of Zero Waste Campaign, said:

“Reducing waste and the production of disposable plastic -- a fossil fuel by-product -- is a critical weapon for fighting climate change. The Break Free From Plastic Pollution Act highlighted in the report will help us reduce the amount of resources we use once and throw away, and encourage a shift toward the consumption habits that a healthier planet requires.”

Clean Water

John Rumpler, Environment America’s senior director for Clean Water for America Campaign, said: 

“Climate change is exacerbating water woes -- from flooding and sewage overflows to toxic algal outbreaks. The Select Committee on Climate Change report responds to this new reality with urgently needed investments to prevent water pollution and help ensure safe drinking water for all.”

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Environment America is a national network of 29 state environmental groups. Our staff work together for clean air, clean water, clean energy, wildlife and open spaces, and a livable climate. Our members across the United States put grassroots support behind our research and advocacy. Environment America is part of The Public Interest Network, which runs organizations committed to a shared vision of a better world, a set of core values, and a strategic approach to getting things done.  

U.S. PIRG, the federation of state Public Interest Research Groups, is a consumer group that stands up to powerful interests whenever they threaten our health and safety, our financial security, or our right to fully participate in our democratic society.

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U.S. PIRG is part of The Public Interest Network, which operates and supports organizations committed to a shared vision of a better world and a strategic approach to getting things done.