“It’s time to get past the partisan battle lines on climate change. Everyone has something to contribute as we work to slow the damage to our climate caused by the burning of fossil fuels.”
SUMMARY OF STANCE
There is scientific consensus that humans are playing a major role in climate change. Every minute we waste on this "myth of disagreement," is one minute longer we have to wait to take concrete action, making any solution more difficult and more expensive.
The greatest challenge of our generation is the impact of climate change, and consequently we must also look beyond dirty fuels of the past to meet our energy needs. For example, investing in wind, solar, and geothermal power, coupled with changes in our transportation sector, will help decrease our reliance on foreign oil and ensure that the United States becomes the leader in the global race to reduce the impacts of climate change and create clean energy jobs and technologies.
RELATED LEGISLATION AND ACTIONS
Introducing legislation is just one action that a member of Congress can take to address a concern or issue that impacts constituents. House Members can also introduce Congressional resolutions calling on the House (or even the full Congress) as a body to recognize or support a certain event or position on an issue. Members can write letters to government leaders requesting they take certain action, hold hearings with expert panels to address issues, work with colleagues at the committee level on specific issues, or even make direct in-person appeals to other Members or officials in the government. Here are a few examples of how I have taken action on this issue.
Greenhouse Gas Emissions
While serving in the California Assembly and State Senate, I helped lead efforts that resulted in major reductions in air pollution generated at the ports of Long Beach and Los Angeles, the busiest container port complexes in the Western Hemisphere, which are now a global model of environmental stewardship. These accomplishments exemplify my fundamental belief that environmental protection and economic success are not mutually exclusive. I am proud to continue that work here in Congress.
Currently, many climate-damaging greenhouse gas emissions originate from fossil fuel resource development on U.S. public lands. As the Ranking Member of the Energy and Mineral Resources subcommittee, I have introduced some commonsense bills to make sure these resources, owned by American taxpayers, are not wasted. We must work toward the goal of shifting our public lands from a carbon source to a carbon sink.
I introduced a bipartisan bill, H.R. 6059, the “Transparency in Energy Production Act,” to increase transparency in the use of public lands. Americans can now go online to find out the carbon emissions of federal agencies such as the Department of Defense, but one of the largest sources of emissions from federal activities—the carbon emissions from fossil fuels originating on our U.S. public lands—is not disclosed. My bill would rectify this by requiring the Department of Interior to measure and disclose all greenhouse gas emissions from energy development on U.S. public lands. Disclosure of this information will help us understand and manage the impacts of climate-damaging greenhouse gas emissions in the United States.
I also introduced H.R. 4389, a bill that would increase the royalty rate companies would pay for onshore oil and gas development on public lands. This would mean more money for American taxpayers and incentivize alternative energy development.
To deal with the waste of methane gas on public lands, I introduced H.R. 3289, the “Natural Gas Environmental and Economic Security Act.” This bill would charge a royalty on any climate-damaging methane gas that is leaked, vented, or flared during fossil fuel operations on U.S. public lands. This would incentivize developers to minimize unnecessary waste and protect our environment, while making sure that the American taxpayer is compensated for development activities on public lands.
CAUCUSES OR MEMBERSHIPS RELATED TO ISSUE:
Safe Climate Caucus
I am proud to be a Co-Chair of the Safe Climate Caucus which has a mission to raise awareness in Congress and with the public about the many ways climate change is affecting the societies and ecosystems we hold dear, and what we can do about it. Congress needs to act to reduce emissions, encourage new innovation for clean energy, and increase the resilience of our communities.
Sustainable Energy & Environment Coalition
I serve as the Vice-Chair of the Sustainable Energy & Environment Coalition (SEEC) which was founded in January 2009 to be a focused, active, and effective advocate for policies for clean energy innovation and job creation, environmental protection, and policies that will address global climate change. The SEEC also works to advance polices to help arrest global warming and protect our nation’s clean air, water and natural environment.
Climate Solutions Caucus
I am Vice-Chair of the Climate Solutions Caucus, founded in 2016, as a bipartisan group in the US House of Representatives which will explore policy options that address the impacts, causes, and challenges of our changing climate.
House Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency Caucus
The House Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency Caucus is a bipartisan caucus that serves to provide basic, nonpartisan information to Members and their staff on energy-related issues. The caucus does not advocate for particular technologies or approaches.
For more information concerning my work and views on climate change, please contact me.
More on Climate Change
The Trump administration tried to sneak two alarming climate change reports past the public last year just after Thanksgiving, apparently hoping everyone would be shopping or sleeping off a turkey hangover. The attempt backfired spectacularly.
Congressmen Alan Lowenthal (CA-47) and Brian Fitzpatrick (PA-08) today reintroduced a bipartisan House of Representatives resolution calling on the House to commit to the removal of political gerrymandering from congressional redistricting and to improve public confidence in our electoral process.