Combating Climate Change
It is long past time to seriously examine how climate change is affecting our communities, environment and economy, and take action to reduce its harmful effects. We are committed to combating climate change, and we will continue to fight Trump Administration efforts that only make it worse.
- Preventing Trump from withdrawing from landmark Paris Climate Agreement: Passed through Full Committee H.R. 9, the Climate Action Now Act, which prevents President Trump from withdrawing the United States from the Paris Climate Agreement and requires him to submit a plan for meeting our obligations under that accord so that we can be a global leader in combating climate change. The bill was passed by the House on May 2, 2019, by a roll call vote of 231-190.
- Holding climate change hearings for the first time in six years: The Committee has held four hearings specifically on climate change, and a total of seven hearings on subjects impacting our changing climate, after the previous Republican majority refused to schedule a single hearing on the global crisis over the last six years. To date, the specific climate hearings examined the environmental and economic effects of climate change, filling the leadership void caused by federal inaction, state and local leaders’ response to the climate crisis, and best pathways for completely decarbonizing the U.S. economy.
- Announcing a bold new plan to combat the climate crisis: In January 2020, the Committee released legislative text of the draft Climate Leadership and Environmental Action for our Nation’s (CLEAN) Future Act – an ambitious new climate plan to ensure the United States achieves net-zero greenhouse gas pollution. The CLEAN Future Act is a comprehensive proposal of sector-specific and economy-wide solutions to address the climate crisis. This ambitious target of a 100 percent clean economy by 2050 is consistent with the global scientific community’s consensus that meeting this target is necessary to avoid the most catastrophic effects of the climate crisis.
- Holding an ongoing series of hearings to determine how best to meet our “100 by 50” commitment: Both the Environment & Climate Change and Energy Subcommittees are holding hearings on decarbonizing the U.S. economy that have helped in the development of its comprehensive “100 by 50” climate draft legislation. To date, eight hearings have been held, each one focused on policy solutions for achieving net zero carbon pollution in the following: environmental and economic effects of climate change, filling the leadership void caused by federal inaction, state and local leaders’ response to the climate crisis, and a series of five hearings examining how to decarbonize various sectors of our economy.
- Rebuilding America through a comprehensive infrastructure package that combats climate change and protects public health and the environment: On May 22, 2019, the Committee held a Full Committee hearing on the Committee Democrats’ The Leading Infrastructure For Tomorrow’s America Act, or LIFT America Act to discuss the bill and how it will move us toward a clean energy future. Many of these provisions were included in H.R. 2, the Moving Forward Act, which passed the House on July 1, 2020, by a roll call vote of 233-188.
- Investing in energy efficiency, which helps address climate change by reducing the amount of greenhouse gas pollution emitted into the air: Favorably reported out of the Full Committee ten energy bills to the full House of Representatives that will make our country’s energy infrastructure more efficient, help develop energy workforce and enhance the security of our nation’s energy infrastructure.
- Demanding answers from Department of Energy on missed energy efficiency standards deadlines: Energy Efficiency Standards not only save consumers money on their energy bills, they are also a critical tool in reducing greenhouse gas emissions. On March 7, 2019, the Energy Subcommittee held a hearing with Department of Energy officials demanding to know why they are failing to finalize or update 16 different efficiency standards as required by law. In the midst of a pandemic, the Trump Administration announced their final rule establishing unlawfully weak fuel economy standards and rolling back clean car standards.
- Holding EPA accountable for their rollback of climate change policies: In February 2019, the Committee renewed their demand for information related to EPA’s plans to roll back the Clean Power Plan, fuel economy standards and the methane rule – three Obama-era rules critical to limiting carbon emissions and combating climate change.
- Demanding answers for EPA’s efforts to roll back Clean Air Standards: In January 2019, the Committee demanded documents and information related to EPA’s proposed rollback of mercury and air toxics standards, which a Harvard University study found would result in the deaths of 80,000 more Americans each decade. In May 2019, the Committee again held EPA accountable with an oversight hearing on the agency’s efforts to undermine mercury protections.
- Demanding answers from the Trump Administration’s EPA and the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration on efforts to roll back the Corporate Average Fuel Economy (CAFÉ) and tailpipe emissions standards: These standards limit the amount of carbon pollution light duty cars and trucks are allowed to emit. Rolling back our clean car standards threatens American jobs, public health, the climate and consumers – and even EPA’s own experts panned the decision.
- Improving public safety and security by reauthorizing the federal pipeline safety program: Passed out of the Energy Subcommittee and Full Committee sweeping improvements to safeguard the environment, combat climate change and protect the American people from unsafe pipelines. H.R. 3432, the SAFER Pipelines Act, rebalances the law in favor of people rather than industry, including by preventing the Trump Administration’s efforts to roll back methane rules critical for protecting public health.
- Held a hearing on disproportionately high rates of infection and deaths in environmental justice communities: The Environment and Climate Change Subcommittee's hearing examined the devastatingly high share of pollution and health risks environmental justice communities face, especially in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic. It is these risks that are contributing to people of color dying from the coronavirus at significantly higher rates than others. Learn more about the Committee’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic here.
- Improving and promoting clean energy sources: The Committee favorably reported five energy bills that will improve energy efficiency, promote clean energy and improve tribal communities’ access to affordable, reliable energy sources to the House floor.
- Bolstering clean energy technology and deployment: The House passed H.R. 4447, the Clean Economy Jobs and Innovation Act, by a recorded vote of 220-185. This bill will spur clean energy innovation, electrify our transportation sector, make homes more energy efficient, modernize our electric grid and create good paying jobs. It also addresses the need for environmental justice by investing in grant programs for impacted communities and improving information sharing so Americans can be better informed about the risks in their neighborhoods.