What House Democrats can, and can’t, do to push action on climate ,
The new Democratic majority in the House is launching an aggressive campaign to prioritize the climate crisis and hold the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) more accountable than the previous leadership has.
This renewed attention was evident from the first day of the 116th Congress, when House Speaker Nancy Pelosi received a standing ovation after calling anthropogenic (human-caused) global warming “the existential threat of our time.”
But President Trump has called climate change a hoax, and Republicans still control the Senate, so what can the House actually do to bring about change?
“The American people understand the urgency. The people are ahead of the Congress. The Congress must join them,” Pelosi said.
Gene Karpinski, the president of the League of Conservation Voters (LCV), sees three ways the new House can actually make progress in this situation: using the oversight process to hold the EPA and Interior Department officials accountable for “doing the bidding” of polluters;
“That would include making sure the infrastructure bill has emissions reduction targets” that spell out the impacts of any projects on carbon pollution. Karpinski told Yahoo News. “That will include a lot of other aggressive measures to get the House members on record — which they clearly want to be — in favor of visionary proposals to move us forward.”
Karpinski said those proposals aren’t necessarily going to become law in the next two years, but they will set the agenda for legislation when pro-environment policies return to the White House and Senate.
As the select committee draws renewed attention to the issue, three standing committees will have the ability to organize hearings on climate change: Natural Resources, Energy and Commerce