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Environment & Energy Report

Pelosi, Democrats Commit to Bipartisan Climate Bill in 2020

Dec. 6, 2019, 6:58 PM

House Democrats have committed to passing a climate change bill next year that has Republican support, lawmakers said Dec. 6.

“Congress is going to act upon the science in a legislative way with everyone at the table,” House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) said at a news conference. “We just hope that the president will change his mind.”

Climate legislation faces opposition not just from President Donald Trump, but from the Republican-controlled Senate.

The House Select Committee on the Climate Crisis is set to release a comprehensive report in March making policy recommendations on climate change, which will serve as the basis for legislation.

The panel has held hearings since the beginning of the year that shed light on the areas where Democrats and Republicans could agree, including actions to curb climate-warming emissions from the agricultural sector, controlling methane emissions, and helping local communities adapt to rising sea levels and other consequences of climate change.

Rep. Kathy Castor (D-Fla.), chair of the select committee, called on citizens in Republican districts to contact their representatives and “encourage them to be good partners.”

Innovation and Incentives

Some Republicans, once hostile to passing laws that could negatively affect fossil fuel development, have more recently acknowledged the need to act on climate change by relying on technological innovation and free-market incentives.

“Republicans support realistic steps to reduce emissions and address current and future climate risks,” Rep. Greg Walden (R-Ore.), ranking member of the House Energy and Commerce Committee, said at a Dec. 5 hearing.

“This requires we examine the costs, effectiveness, and economic impacts of solutions proposed to address the risks—and that we do not undermine the economic priorities of communities and states around the nation. We can have a cleaner environment and a strong, American economy,” Walden said.

The most significant climate bill to pass the House this year, H.R. 9, called for forcing the Trump administration to remain in the international Paris agreement. Three Republicans voted in favor of the bill—Reps. Brian Fitzpatrick (Pa.), Elise Stefanik (N.Y.), and Vern Buchanan (Fla.)—with no Democrats opposed.

To contact the reporter on this story: Tiffany Stecker in Washington at tstecker@bloombergenvironment.com

To contact the editors responsible for this story: Gregory Henderson at ghenderson@bloombergenvironment.com; Chuck McCutcheon at cmccutcheon@bloombergenvironment.com

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