After the 2020 election, the 117th Congress was sworn in. The House remained in Democratic control (222-211)–with two seats vacant (in Louisiana’s 5th district and New York’s 22nd district). Control of the Senate moved to the Democrats (50-50 with the power to cast the tie breaking vote in the hands of Vice-President Kamala Harris) in a run-off election in Georgia on January 5, 2021 when Democrats Jon Ossoff and Rev. Raphael Warnock won their Senate races.

Founded in 2016, Climate Solutions Caucus is a bipartisan United States House caucus whose members are committed to taking action in response to the risks of climate change. This group, made up of equal numbers of Republicans and Democrats, has introduced legislation to achieve a carbon tax. They have not, as of yet, succeeded in passing any legislation.

In February 2019, as 100 Democratic freshmen entered the House, the “Green New Deal”, a non-binding proposal to fight climate change (originally promoted by the Sunrise Movement — a coalition of young people), was introduced by Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and Senator Ed Markey. Whatever comes of it,  climate change has definitely shifted to the middle of the national conversation. Much has been written about the “Deal” including an early editorial by the New York Times on February 24, 2019.

Valuable to remember: In 2007 when California Democrat Nancy Pelosi first became Speaker, she created, and Ed Markey (then in the House) chaired, The House Select Committee on Energy Independence and Global Warming. In her first term as Speaker, Pelosi helped muscle through a major energy bill,  which then-President George W. Bush praised for “confronting global climate change.” When the Republicans retook control in 2011 they disbanded it.

As she remained Speaker, Pelosi re-established in February, 2019 another climate committee calling it the Select Committee on the Climate Crisis. Chaired by Kathy Castor, a seven-term representative from Tampa Bay, she appointed to that committee: Suzanne Bonamici (Ore.), Julia Brownley (Calif.), Sean Casten (Ill.), Jared Huffman (Calif.), Mike Levin (Calif.), Donald McEachin (Va.), Ben Ray Lujan (NM), and Joe Neguse (Colo.). Its scope is limited: It can hold hearings and plan fact finding trips, but not compel testimony — a structure that has aggravated many progressives. It is specifically instructed “to investigate, study, make findings, and develop recommendations on policies, strategies, and innovations to achieve substantial and permanent reductions in pollution and other activities that contribute to the climate crisis which will honor our responsibility to be good stewards of the planet for future generations.” Pelosi said the committee was not tasked specifically with crafting the progressives‘ “Green New Deal,” as Ocasio-Cortez had initially sought.


House GOP votes to overturn Biden rule on water protections

By Matthew Daly and Michael Phillis 03/09/23
The House on Thursday.........
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Same message, bigger audience: Sen. Whitehouse flags climate costs

By Coral Davenport 03/07/23
For more than a decade, Senator Sheldon Whitehouse gave daily warnings about the mounting threat of climate change. Now he has a powerful new perch....
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Senate overturns federal rule on ESG investments, Biden vows to veto

By Christina Wilkie 03/01/23
The Senate on Wednesday voted to overturn a Labor Department rule that permits fiduciary retirement fund managers to consider climate change, good corporate governance and other factors when making investments on behalf of pension plan…
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How Congress funded carbon removal in FY23 appropriations

By Vanessa Suarez 02/21/23
2022 was another invigorating year for carbon dioxide removal (CDR), with historic milestones like the passage of the biggest federal climate deal in history and over $1 billion authorized for carbon removal research, development, and…
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Chairman Whitehouse Statement on CBO Outlook

Today, Senator Sheldon Whitehouse, Chairman of the Senate Budget Committee, issued a statement following the annual release of the Congressional Budget Office’s (CBO) Budget and Economic Outlook and a projection that the debt limit must…
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U.S. lawmakers seek repeal of Biden solar tariff waiver

By Nichola Groom 01/27/23
A bipartisan group of lawmakers in the U.S. House of Representatives on Thursday introduced a resolution to repeal President Joe Biden's suspension of import tariffs on solar panels from four Southeast Asian nations, according to…
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Recently Passed Federal Funding Package Makes Investments in Natural Climate Solutions

By National Audubon Society 12/23/22
The Fiscal Year 2023 appropriations bill includes important wins for climate and conservation, though fails to include important legislation that would greatly benefit wildlife.
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Senate rejects Manchin’s energy permitting amendment to defense bill

By Rachel Frazin 12/15/22
The Senate has bucked Sen. Joe Manchin’s (D-W.Va.) latest effort to get his energy deal with Majority Leader Charles Schumer (D-N.Y.) attached to must-pass legislation.
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Democrats Have a New Plan to Fight Plastic Pollution

By Joseph Winters 12/05/22
As international negotiators began hammering out the details of a global plastics treaty last week, legislators in the United States were busy unveiling a domestic policy to address the plastic pollution crisis.
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Booker, Huffman, Merkley, Lowenthal Introduce Legislation to Address Plastic Production Crisis

Today, U.S. Senator Cory Booker (D-N.J.) and Representative Jared Huffman (D-CA-2nd), together with U.S. Senator Jeff Merkley (D-OR) and Representative Alan Lowenthal (D-CA-47th), introduced the Protecting Communities from Plastics Act, legislation that addresses the plastic…
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Analysis: U.S. House Republican farm bill approach may test Biden hunger, climate goals

By Leah Douglas 11/19/22
U.S. President Joe Biden's pledges to slash emissions from farming and to end American hunger by 2030 may be harder to realize now that Republicans flipped the House of Representatives with a thin majority. Biden's…
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Inflation Reduction Act Methane Emissions Charge: In Brief

On August 16, 2022, President Biden signed H.R. 5376 (P.L. 117-169), a budget reconciliation measure commonly referred to as the “Inflation Reduction Act of 2022” (IRA). Among other provisions, IRA includes a charge on methane…

Critical Minerals in Electric Vehicle Batteries

Expected growth of electric vehicle (EV) sales has led to concern about securing mineral inputs used in EV batteries. Various countries and companies have stated policies to accelerate the adoption of EVs in the transportation…

Environmental Justice (EJ) Provisions of the 2022 Inflation Reduction Act

This table includes provisions with the potential to provide federal benefits to communities with EJ concerns. Direct benefits, where the statute requires benefits to be implemented in or directed towards low-income, tribal, or overburdened communities,…

Modeling The Inflation Reduction Act Using The Energy Policy Simulator

On July 27, 2022, the United States Senate released legislative text for the Inflation Reduction Act (IRA), which includes $369 billion in funding for climate and clean energy provisions. These emissions-reducing provisions run the gamut…

U.S. Climate Change Policy

The greenhouse gases (GHGs) in the atmosphere trap radiant energy, warming earth’s surface and oceans. Scientific assessments conclude that GHGs very likely have been the main driver of warming of the earth’s lower atmosphere since…

Greenhouse Gas Emissions Scenarios: Background, Issues, and Policy Relevance

Projecting future climate change, and what drives it, is difficult,with many uncertainties. Computer models, however, can be useful tools for exploring the long-term implications of climate change and evaluating policy options. For example, models can…

Social Cost of Greenhouse Gases: Issues for Congress

On January 20, 2021, President Biden issued Executive Order (E.O.) 13990, “Protecting Public Health and the Environment andRestoring Science to Tackle the Climate Crisis.” Itcontains directives to update the social cost of greenhouse gases (SC-GHG),…

Aji P. v. State of Washington

Our Children’s Trust has supported youth plaintiffs in Washington since 2011, most recently in the youth-led constitutional climate case, Aji P. v. State of Washington. Thirteen youth plaintiffs from across the state of Washington filed…

Tracking the future of US recycling policy in Congress

Spurred by market challenges, the Hill has seen a historic influx of big bills. Keep up on all the latest developments with our legislative tracker.

National Sustainable Agriculture Coalition

The National Sustainable Agriculture Coalition (NSAC) is an alliance of grassroots organizations that advocates for federal policy reform to advance the sustainability of agriculture, food systems, natural resources, and rural communities.

House Committee on Energy & Commerce – Accomplishments

The Energy and Commerce Committee is working to strengthen the economy, reduce costs for consumers, combat climate change and conduct robust oversight of the Trump Administration. Here is a look at some of the action the…

Carbon Pricing as a Solution to Climate Change

FCNL believes that carbon pricing is one of many essential tools that Congress should use to address climate change and shift towards a clean energy economy. While we have not endorsed any particular bill at…

Legislation Tracker

Keep track of bills and resolutions as they move through the House and/or the Senate on their way to passage as law.

Climate Change Laws of the World

Search the databases by selecting the legislation or the litigation search and applying your search criteria. You can also click here to access laws and policies on our interactive map.


Bipartisan Solutions to Protect the Environment and the Economy

There are bipartisan bills in Congress that we could pass right now to ensure the United States remains a global leader in emissions reduction, economic productivity, and clean energy production, all at once.” That’s what…
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Energy and Commerce Republicans to Hold Energy and Environment Innovation Showcase

Members have invited companies, educational institutions, and other organizations from their districts to showcase ongoing projects, products, and services and discuss how successful energy and environment policy is best secured through realistic, innovative public policy.
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Ohio bill would let townships block wind projects after they are approved

By Kathiann M. Kowalski   11/22/19  
The bill singles out wind energy, frustrates property rights and “would be fatal” to the state’s wind industry, critics say.
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Sanders and Ocasio-Cortez unveil ‘Green New Deal For Public Housing’ bill

By Amanda Mills   11/14/19  
“The Green New Deal for Public Housing would transition the entire public housing stock of the United States, as swiftly and seamlessly as possible, into zero-carbon, highly energy-efficient developments that produce on-site renewable energy, expand…
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Columbia University economists publish study of bipartisan carbon pricing bill

A group of five economists from Columbia University’s Center on Global Energy Policy has published “An Assessment of the Energy Innovation and Carbon Dividend Act.” This study offers an up-to-date, independent assessment of the Energy…
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New York City To Consider Norway-Style Bill To Budget Climate Emissions Like Finances

By Alexander C. Kaufman   09/25/19  
It's the latest in a wave of local climate legislation in the Big Apple. ...
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Massachusetts bill aims to reduce traffic congestion, but will it help climate?

By Sarah Shemkus   08/16/19  
Climate groups say the transportation bill contains steps in the right direction but falls short of transformational.
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North Carolina Senate tables bill to expand state energy savings program

By Elizabeth Ouzts   07/12/19  
Sen. Bill Rabon said the measure won’t be heard in his committee before lawmakers end their 2019 session. ...
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Massachusetts bills aim to promote efficient appliances, net-zero housing

By Sarah Shemkus   07/12/19  
The pending legislation includes proposals to encourage heat pumps and to bring energy efficiency to low-income residents.
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Bernie Sanders, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez To Propose Bill To Declare Climate Emergency

By Alexander C. Kaufman   07/08/19  
The resolution, set to be introduced Tuesday, is largely symbolic and isn't likely to pass. ...
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Senators target 50% national renewable energy standard by 2035, zero-carbon by 2050

By Catherine Morehouse   06/27/19  
Sen. Tom Udall, D-N.M., on Wednesday introduced a bill that would establish a 50% renewable energy standard (RES) across the U.S. by 2035.
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Governor Mills Signs Major Renewable Energy and Climate Change Bills Into Law

By State of Maine   06/26/19  
Signed legislation establishes in law and will help achieve Governor’s goals of 80 percent renewable energy by 2030 and emissions reductions of 80 percent by 2050.
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Right-wing ‘militia threat’ shuts down Oregon Capitol as Republicans flee climate bill vote

By Gillian Flaccus   06/22/19  
The Oregon Capitol will be closed on Saturday due to a "possible militia threat" from right-wing protesters as a walkout by Republican lawmakers over landmark climate change legislation drags on.
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Mills signs wind bill, announces plans to advance offshore energy

By Tux Turkel   06/20/19  
Stalled efforts to test a floating wind farm off the Maine coast got back on track Wednesday after Gov. Janet Mills signed legislation directing the Public Utilities Commission to approve the contract for Maine Aqua Ventus,…
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New York State Reaches Landmark Deal On Green New Deal-Style Climate Bill

By Alexander C. Kaufman   06/17/19  
If enacted, the bill would make New York the second big state — after California — to go for 100 percent carbon neutrality by midcentury.
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New California Bill Could Revolutionize How the U.S. Tackles Plastic Pollution

By Tara Lohan   06/14/19  
A sweeping “circular economy” bill in the California legislature aims to drastically reduce plastic waste and boost domestic recycling.
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Maine steps up clean energy turnaround, passes 100% RPS, pro-solar bills

By Catherine Morehouse   06/13/19  
Maine lawmakers on Thursday passed a bill to eliminate gross metering in the state and reestablish net metering for solar customers, sending it to Gov. Janet Mills, D, for likely signature.
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Breathe easier: States are passing a buttload of clean-energy bills

By Nathanael Johnson   06/10/19  
Climate victories are thundering down from statehouses like hail in a spring storm. Two weeks ago, Colorado Governor Jared Polis signed 11 carbon-pollution slashing bills and rolled out his plan to get the state to…
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Connecticut House passes bill mandating education of human-induced climate change

By Morgan Gstalter   05/29/19  
The Connecticut House on Tuesday passed a bill to make Connecticut the first state to mandate the teaching of human-induced climate change.
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Scrap Collector: Vermont passes nation’s ‘toughest’ plastics bill yet

By Rina Li   05/24/19  
Heads up, plastic watchers: Vermont legislators have passed what is being credited as the nation's "toughest bill yet" with regard to single-use plastics regulation. S.113, which was sent to Gov. Phil Scott on Wednesday, would…
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Schumer backs aggressive New York climate change bill

By Marie J. French   05/22/19  
Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer told state lawmakers he supports an ambitious measure targeting zero emissions in New York by 2050 and requiring investment in low-income and minority communities.
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Nevada passes bill for 50% renewables by 2030, 100% carbon free by 2050

By Catherine Morehouse   04/22/19  
Nevada on Friday passed a bill that would require the state to generate 50% of its electricity from renewable resources by 2030 and aim for 100% carbon-free resources by 2050.
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A closer look at Washington’s superb new 100% clean electricity bill

By David Roberts   04/18/19  
The bill contains groundbreaking changes to the way the state’s utilities do business.
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Maryland passes major renewable energy bill

By Jamie DeMarco   04/11/19  
Maryland passes major renewable energy bill By Jamie DeMarco Over the past 15 years, solar in Maryland has slowly but steadily grown, and now provides about 1.9% of the state’s electricity. However, the time for…
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Lujan Grisham signs landmark clean energy bill

By Andrew Oxford   03/22/19  
Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham signed sweeping energy legislation on Friday that calls for New Mexico’s major electric utilities to get 100 percent of their power from carbon emission-free sources by 2045.
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Hawaii bills push 1st state ban on plastics in restaurants

By Audrey McAvoy   03/19/19  
Hawaii would be the first state in the U.S. to ban most plastics at restaurants under legislation that aims to cut down on waste that pollutes the ocean.
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Maine renews net metering as lawmakers prep new clean energy, utility reform bills

By Catherine Morehouse   03/18/19  
Maine lawmakers on Thursday passed a bill to eliminate gross metering in the state and reestablish net metering for solar customers, sending it to Gov. Janet Mills, D, for likely signature.
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Climate bills call for Maine to reduce emissions to 80% below 1990 levels

By Kevin Miller   03/13/19  
Maine scientists, fishermen and environmentalists urged lawmakers Wednesday to embrace a goal of reducing greenhouse gas emissions by 80 percent and begin work on a new “action plan” to address climate change.
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Colorado Senate gives final approval to oil and gas reform bill

By Nic Garcia   03/13/19  
The Colorado State Senate on Wednesday gave its final approval along party lines to a bill that will dramatically reform the way oil and gas businesses are regulated. The legislation, Senate Bill 181, is one…
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States are introducing bills that could prevent teachers from advocating for climate change

By Kelley Czajka   02/18/19  
Several states have recently introduced bills that could interfere with the teaching of scientifically founded theories on climate change in public school science curricula. A bill in South Dakota would require each school board to…
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The Senate just passed the decade’s biggest public lands package. Here’s what’s in it.

By Juliet Eilperin and Dino Grandoni   02/13/19  
The Senate on Tuesday passed the most sweeping conservation legislation in a decade, protecting millions of acres of land and hundreds of miles of wild rivers across the country and establishing four new national monuments…
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Virginia Wilderness Expansion Would Link Ecologically Vital Areas

By John Gilroy   11/10/17  
Proposal seeks to protect 5,500 acres of prime wildlife habitat, streams, and trails.
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Florida legislature advances third attempt at curbside recycling contamination bill

By Katie Pyzyk   01/30/20  
Last week, the Florida House of Representatives unanimously passed a bill (HB 73) listing contamination-related details that must be included in recycling contracts between municipalities and haulers or MRFs. Haulers would not be required to transport contaminated materials…
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Crucial Bill that Tackles Food Waste Included in the New York State Budget

New York lawmakers took a bold step to reduce food waste with the inclusion of the Food Donation and Food Scrap Recycling Act in the state’s 2020 budget.
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