LEGISLATION

LEGISLATION

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.

CREDIT: STATISTA

CURRENT NEWS

KEY RESOURCES

U.S. Climate Change Policy

10/28/21
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

06/08/21
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

06/08/21
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

02/15/21
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

10/26/20
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

02/26/20
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.

Congress.gov Climate Action Legislation

02/19/20
Current legislation search

Carbon Pricing as a Solution to Climate Change

02/14/20
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…

House Committee on Energy & Commerce – Accomplishments

01/29/20
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…

Legislation Tracker

09/04/19
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

07/24/19
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.

MORE NEWS

Experts: Cash incentives in climate bill could revolutionize US homes, 1 HVAC at a time

By Kyle Bagenstose   08/04/22  
When key Senate Democrats agreed to a landmark $485 billion climate and health care bill last week, they gave it a name to match kitchen table conversations taking place across the country: The Inflation Reduction…

Sinema, Democratic leaders reach deal on changes to health and climate bill

By Jennifer Haberkorn  Photo: Kent Nishimura / Los Angeles Times   08/04/22  
Sen. Kyrsten Sinema said late Thursday she will support moving forward with Democrats’ health, tax and climate bill, a strong sign that the party will be able to advance some of its major policy priorities…

Democrats scramble for Sinema’s support on climate, health and tax bill

By Tony Romm  Photo: Jabin Botsford/The Washington Post   08/03/22  
The senator from Arizona, a centrist fiscal hawk, previously has raised concerns with plans to revise federal tax laws.

Senate climate deal includes NOAA spending boost

By Andrew Freedman  Photo: Annelise Capossela, Axios   08/03/22  
The fragile Senate climate deal would provide a funding infusion for the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, including for its climate and weather forecasting capabilities. Why it matters: Accurate weather and climate forecasts are even…
AP

How the climate deal would help farmers aid the environment

By Michael Phillis  Photo: Charlie Riedel, AP File Photo   08/03/22  
The climate deal reached last week by Senate Democrats could reduce the amount of greenhouse gases that American farmers produce by expanding programs that help accumulate carbon in soil, fund climate-focused research and lower the…

Methane Reductions Sought by EPA Get Boost From Climate Deal

By Jennifer Hijazi  Photo: Jason Alden, Bloomberg   08/03/22  
The Democratic tax-and-climate economic package announced last week includes a suite of methane directives that are set to bolster the EPA’s regulatory plans to combat a leading source of planet-warming gases.

Deep in the Democrats’ Climate Bill, Analysts See More Wins for Clean Energy Than Gifts for Fossil Fuel Business

By Marianne Lavelle and Others  Photo: Alex Wong, Getty Images   08/03/22  
Although Senate leaders have included plenty of favors for the fossil fuel industry in the big climate package they hope to advance this week, most analysts have concluded these concessions amount to consolation prizes in…

Is the Manchin deal a tipping point for CO2-heavy energy?

By David Laconangelo and Carlos Anchondo  Photo: Scott Olson, Getty Images   08/03/22  
The sweeping climate and energy package negotiated by Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer and Energy and Natural Resources Chair Joe Manchin would funnel billions of dollars to decarbonize heavy industries like steel and cement, a…

U.S. wildfire and heat risks to get new spending under Biden plan

By David Sherfinski  Photo: Mathieu Lewis-Rolland, Reuters   08/03/22  
A 700-plus-page "inflation reduction" bill moving through the U.S. Congress would steer significant new funds toward battling wildfires and extreme heat - climate change-related risks that are wreaking havoc across the country this summer. The…

Here’s how much Congress’s historic climate bill would actually cut emissions

By Adele Peters  Photo: Arctic-Images/Getty Images   08/02/22  
The massive new climate bill isn’t perfect. But a new analysis from think tank Energy Innovation details just what a difference it would make.

How the new climate bill would reduce emissions

By Nadja Popovich and Brad Plumer  Photo: EPEAT Project, E.P.A.   08/02/22  
A major climate and energy package announced last week in a deal by Senate Democrats would put the United States much closer to its goal of cutting global warming pollution in half by 2030, several…

How Biden could upend a key perception of his presidency

By Paul Waldman  Photo: Demetrius Freeman, The Washington Post   08/02/22  
The prevailing perception of President Biden’s policy record has been primarily about disappointment. Biden made grand promises as a candidate but found his agenda stymied in a closely divided Congress, leading to persistent political torpor…

Democrats’ side deal with Manchin would speed up projects, West Virginia gas

By Jeff Stein and Others  Photo: Bill O' Leary, The Washington Post   08/01/22  
A side agreement reached between Democratic leadership and Sen. Joe Manchin III (D-W.Va.) as part of their broader deal on an economic package would overhaul the nation’s process for approving new energy projects, including by…

The climate bill won’t stop global warming. But it will clean the air.

By Chris Mooney  Photo: David Zalubowski, AP   08/01/22  
The higher temperatures observed today across the world, implicated in everything from extreme heat to drought and worsening wildfires, are the result of many decades of rising greenhouse gas emissions that trap heat and warm…

The two-week scramble that saved Democrats’ climate agenda

By Tony Romm  Photo: Tom Brenner, The Washington Post   07/30/22  
Five days after talks collapsed around Senate Democrats’ long-stalled package to combat climate change, temperatures were rising — literally and figuratively. It was July 19, and an oppressive heat wave was blanketing the United States.…

Climate Bill ‘Transformative’ for Auto and Energy Industries

By Jack Ewing and Others  Photo: Ruth Fremson, The New York Times   07/29/22  
The $369 billion climate and tax package Democrats in the Senate proposed this week could have far-reaching effects on the kinds of cars that Americans drive, where those cars are made and how the country…

July 29, 2022 Manchin’s Climate Bill Includes $27 Billion for a Green Bank. Here’s Why That’s a Big Deal

By Kristoffer Tigue  Photo: Anna Moneymaker, Getty Images   07/29/22  
For 13 years, Reed Hundt has chased the idea of a national green bank, but to no avail. As CEO of the Coalition for Green Capital, a global incubator for green banks, Hundt has long…
npr

Climate experts experience an odd sensation after the Manchin budget deal: optimism

By Laura Benshoff  Photo: Eric Lee, Getty Images   07/29/22  
The nearly $370 billion energy and climate spending deal struck between Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer and conservative Democrat Joe Manchin would be the single largest federal clean energy investment in U.S. history. While it…

Seven Key Provisions in the Climate Deal

By Elena Shao  Photo: John Moore, Getty Images   07/28/22  
The climate and tax deal announced by Senate Democrats on Wednesday would pump hundreds of billions of dollars into programs designed to speed the country’s transition away from an economy based largely on fossil fuels…

After Clash, Manchin and Schumer Rushed to Reset Climate and Tax Deal

By Emily Cochrane and Others  Photo: Haiyun Jiang, The New York Times   07/28/22  
Senator Chuck Schumer, the majority leader, and Senator Joe Manchin III, Democrat of West Virginia, were both nursing resentments when they met secretly in a windowless room in the basement of the Capitol last Monday…

How the Schumer-Manchin climate bill might impact you and change the U.S.

By Jeff Stein and Others  Photo: Emily Wright, The Washington Post   07/28/22  
Major changes to the Affordable Care Act. The nation’s biggest-ever climate bill. The largest tax hike on corporations in decades. And dozens of lesser-known provisions that will affect millions of Americans.

Manchin, in reversal, agrees to quick action on climate and tax plan

By Emily Cochrane, Jim Tankersley and Lisa Friedman  Pete Marovich/The New York Times   07/27/22  
The West Virginia Democrat, a holdout on his party’s domestic agenda, said the package would reduce inflation, a concern he had cited in rejecting it just weeks ago.

We’ve Had Other Climate Defeats. This One Is by Far the Weirdest.

By Robinson Meyer  Photo: Bloomberg / Getty   07/20/22  
When I started writing about climate change a few years ago, I tried to give readers regular dollops of hope with their gruel. I focused on renewable energy (which was getting cheaper) and American carbon…

Which elected leaders should do more on climate?

By Mira Rojanasakul and Catrin Einhorn  Photo: Yale Program on Climate Change Communication   07/19/22  
It’ll take some time to understand how Americans view last week’s collapse of climate legislation in Congress, but previous data holds some clues. When asked which elected officials should do more on climate, Americans point…

Dems use minibus to showcase energy, climate contrasts

By George Cahlink   07/19/22  
The House will consider a roster of energy and environmental amendments to its first package of fiscal 2023 spending bills this week aimed at painting Democrats as more committed to fighting climate change than Republicans.

Democrats eye options for big climate action this year

By Nick Sobczyk and Others  Photo: Francis Chung , E&E News   07/19/22  
Senate Democrats tried to revive hope yesterday that they might still pass climate legislation this year, but they face significant headwinds, and many are ready to move on and take what Sen. Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.)…

Progressive campaign strategy: Make Manchin irrelevant

By Timothy Cama  Photo: Michael Santiago, Getty Images   07/19/22  
Progressive climate change advocates are increasingly coalescing around a midterm election strategy aimed at making Sen. Joe Manchin’s opposition to President Joe Biden’s environmental agenda irrelevant. In the days since the West Virginia Democrat shut…

What Joe Manchin Cost Us

By Leah C. Stokes  Photo: Al Drago   07/16/22  
Over the past year and a half, I’ve dissected every remark I could find in the press from Senator Joe Manchin on climate change. With the fate of our planet hanging in the balance, his…

Biden concedes defeat on climate bill as Manchin and inflation upend agenda

By Jim Tankersley, Lisa Friedman and Coral Davenport  Photo: Doug Mills/The New York Times   07/15/22  
Rising prices, party infighting and the aftershocks from Russia’s invasion of Ukraine have undercut the president’s plans to speed an energy transition.

An American Climate Failure

By Somini Sengupta  Photo: Stefani Reynolds , The New York Times   07/15/22  
As millions of people on three continents baked in heat waves supercharged by climate change this week, one American politician, an ardent champion of the fossil fuel industry, doused any hopes of immediate climate action…

Democrats race to clinch deal on climate, energy with Manchin

By Maxine Joselow  Photo: Oliver Contreras/For The Washington Post   07/07/22  
Lawmakers face a fast-ticking clock as they try to secure a deal that would deliver on Biden’s goals and satisfy Manchin’s concerns.

Governor hochul signs legislative package to spur energy efficiency, consumer savings, and greenhouse gas emission reductions while supporting prevailing wage measures

07/05/22  
Governor Kathy Hochul today signed a legislative package of three bills that will strengthen New York's commitment to clean energy development and energy efficiency, while reducing greenhouse gas emissions. The Governor signed the bills at…

Five-Year Offshore Oil and Gas Leasing Program: Status and Issues in Brief

By Laura B. Comay   06/23/22  
Five-Year Offshore Oil and Gas Leasing Program: Status and Issues in Brief Congressional Research Service 1 nder the Outer Continental Shelf Lands Act (OCSLA), as amended,1 the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (BOEM) within the…

House Republicans to unveil conservative road map on climate, energy

By Maxine Joselow & Jeff Stein  Photo: Jabin Botsford , The Washington Post   06/01/22  
House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) plans to unveil a strategy Thursday outlining how Republicans would address climate change, energy and environmental issues if their party gains control of the House in the midterm elections,…

The U.S. Is Addicted To Gas Heating. A New Bill May Make Going Electric The Easy Choice.

By Alexander C. Kaufman  Photo: Leon Neal , Getty Images   05/25/22  
When it’s cold outside, most American homes burn gas or fuel for warmth ― a big part of why buildings are the country’s fourth-largest source of climate-changing emissions. When it’s hot, an even bigger percentage…

Democrats scramble on energy prices ahead of Memorial Day

By George Cahlink & Others  Photo: Francis Chung , E&E News   05/25/22  
Both parties have spent weeks trading blame over who is responsible for high fuel costs that threaten to be a major issue in the midterm elections. Partisan bills have been proposed that won’t pass the…

U.S. House passes bill to fight oil and gas price gouging

By Timothy Gardner and Others  Photo: Bing Guan , Reuters   05/19/22  
The legislation, sponsored by Democratic Representatives Katie Porter and Kim Schrier, passed the House 217 to 207, with no Republicans supporting it. In the Senate, evenly divided at 50 members in each party, 10 Republicans…

House panel will investigate USPS plan to purchase 8.6 mpg trucks

By Jacob Bogage  Photo: Nati Harnik/AP   05/12/22  
State attorneys general and top environmental groups have already sued the Postal Service to block the $11.3 billion truck contract.

House panel broadens probe into climate disinformation by Big Oil

By Maxine Joselow  Photo: Jacquelyn Martin/AP   01/21/22  
The House Committee on Oversight and Reform has broadened its investigation into the role of fossil fuel companies in misleading the public about climate change, asking members of the boards of directors of ExxonMobil, BP,…
CNN

House committee schedules 2nd hearing on oil and gas industry’s role in climate disinformation

By Rene Marsh   01/21/22  
The House Oversight Committee on Thursday issued its second round of appearance requests to the oil and gas industry in an investigation into the role it has played in the spread of climate disinformation. House…

House Passes the Largest Expenditure on Climate in U.S. History

By Coral Davenport  Photo: Sarahbeth Maney   11/23/21  
The United States took a major step toward fighting climate change Friday with passage through the House of Representatives of a $2.2 trillion spending bill that includes the largest expenditures ever made by the federal…

Democratic lawmakers create Electrification Caucus in Congress

By Dave Kovaleski   11/19/21  
A group of Democratic lawmakers in Congress recently established the Electrification Caucus, which will work to advance policies to accelerate widespread electrification.

Biden to submit treaty fighting climate super-pollutants for Senate approval

By Dino Grandoni  Photo: Evan Vucci/AP   11/16/21  
Move on hydrofluorocarbons, which are hundreds of times as potent as carbon dioxide, comes just days after global climate talks wrapped up in Glasgow

Rep. Katie Porter Used Her Costco Haul to Embarrass Big Oil

By Brianna Provenzano  Photo: Alex Wong / Staff (Getty Images)   10/29/21  
Whenever a smart, powerful woman starts using literal grains of rice to illustrate her point, you know you done goofed. Big Oil companies found that out the hard way when, during a House Oversight Committee…

A House committee has been investigating the role fossil fuel companies have played in disseminating climate misinformation

By Nick Sobczyk  Photo: Ting Shen Getty Images   10/29/21  
House Oversight and Reform Chair Carolyn Maloney said yesterday that she intends to subpoena four major oil companies and two trade organizations for documents and communications as part of her committee’s investigation into climate misinformation.

Oil Executives Testify on Industry’s Role in Climate Disinformation

By Hiroko Tabuchi and Lisa Friedman  Photo: Jacquelyn Martin/Associated Press   10/28/21  
In a historic hearing, the leaders of some of the most powerful energy companies in the world are appearing before a House panel to face questioning on climate change.
CNN

Lawmakers launch investigation into climate crisis disinformation by fossil fuel industry

By Ella Nilsen   09/16/21  
The House Oversight and Reform Committee announced Thursday it is launching an investigation into fossil fuel industry disinformation on the climate crisis. The committee invited the heads of six oil companies and major lobbying groups…

With bulk of their agenda on the line, Democrats gird for battle over $3.5 trillion budget package

By Tony Romm  Photo: Jim Lo Scalzo/Shutterstock   09/07/21  
Lawmakers will try to assemble major planks of Biden’s agenda, including health care, climate change and anti-poverty programs

Democrats race to resolve House-Senate disputes on $3.5T megabill

By Jennifer Scholtes, Heather Caygle, and Caitlin Emma  Photo: Greg Nash-Pool/Getty Images   09/02/21  
Democrats are hustling to finalize their gigantic social spending plan during the dog days of summer recess, wary they will blow their target date to finish as Congress faces a crush of deadlines later this…

Progressives launch campaign to exclude gas from Congress’s clean electricity program

By Rachel Frazin   09/01/21  
Progressives are pushing to try to keep natural gas out of a Democratic proposal aimed at reducing greenhouse gas emissions from the electric sector.