In 2019, as a result of the 2018 midterm elections, the House is controlled by Democrats and the Senate is controlled by Republicans. Addressing climate change at the national level now requires bipartisan collaboration if there is to be any success.
Founded in 2016, Climate Solutions Caucus is a bipartisan United States House caucus whose members are committed to take 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.
Now, as Speaker again, Pelosi re-established in February 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.