WASHINGTON, FEB. 10, 2017 – Citizens’ Climate Lobby welcomes the addition of four members to the bipartisan House Climate Solutions Caucus, bringing to 24 the number of representatives who reject partisanship in order to explore meaningful responses to the climate crisis.
The new members are representatives Don Bacon (R-NE), Earl Blumenauer (D-OR), David Reichert (R-WA) and Charlie Crist (D-FL).
“Across the country, Americans understand the urgency of climate change,” said Rep. Ted Deutch (D-FL), co-chair of the caucus. “Whether they see rising tides in Fort Lauderdale, intensifying tornadoes along the Central Plains, or worsening droughts affecting farm production, Americans are starting to feel the impacts of climate change to their homes, their livelihoods, and their wallets. They want action from their elected officials, and I’m proud that this Caucus offers a space to develop bipartisan solutions.”
The caucus was established in early 2016 by Deutch and Rep. Carlos Curbelo (R-FL) to “serve as an organization to educate members on economically-viable options to reduce climate risk and protect our nation’s economy, security, infrastructure, agriculture, water supply and public safety,” according to documents filed with the Committee on House Administration. It is genuinely bipartisan, employing what has come to be known as the two-by-two “Noah’s Ark approach” to membership: No one can join without a member of the other party coming on board at the same time.
“Anyone looking for a sign that action to fight climate change is alive and well should be encouraged by the growth of the Climate Solutions Caucus,” said Mark Reynolds, executive director of Citizens’ Climate Lobby. “There’s a deep desire from members of both parties to start moving on this issue, and much of that desire stems from constituents who are telling their representatives that they want to see action. To paraphrase Mark Twain, reports of democracy’s death are greatly exaggerated.”
Statements from the new members:
Rep. David Reichert: “Climate change is a serious issue that could prove to be devastating not only to our environment but also to our economy. This potential threat requires us, as a nation, to reimagine not only how we use energy, but also how we protect our environment and create jobs. This is not a partisan issue. We all have a responsibility to protect our environment, to maintain clean water and clean air, and to ensure future generations can enjoy the beauty of our natural heritage.”
Rep. Earl Blumenauer: “Climate change is a critical threat to our way of life in Oregon and to the health of our planet. I’m committed to working with my colleagues to find solutions to this problem. My home state is leading the way in responding to this challenge, and I’m eager to bring our ideas to the Climate Solutions Caucus.”
Rep. Don Bacon: “I am proud to be joining the Climate Solutions Caucus to further expand my knowledge on the potential impacts of climate change and find bi-partisan solutions. This was a promise I made to constituents of my district and I keep my promises. As a commander of airbases in both Nebraska and Germany, I managed several important environmental programs to include resettlement of bird populations to reduce hazards to aircraft; incorporation of cleaner fuel technologies to minimize aircraft impacts on the environment; and proper disposal of hazardous chemicals used with our aircraft.”
Rep. Charlie Crist: “In Pinellas County, there is no denying climate change is happening. As a peninsula on the peninsula of Florida, we are threatened more and more each year by rising sea levels. I am proud to join the Climate Solutions Caucus, highlighting Congress’ growing bipartisan commitment to tackling this urgent challenge. Together, we can and must protect our environment and economy from climate change.”
Citizens’ Climate Lobby is a grassroots advocacy organization with more than 300 chapters in the U.S. working to enact climate solutions, such as Carbon Fee and Dividend, which places a rising fee on the carbon content of fuels and returns the revenue from that fee back to households.