This is big news. We’ve been lobbying Rep. Ron Kind (D) to join the Climate Solutions Caucus since its inception. He has shown interest, but the big challenge was for him to find a Republican representative to join with him — a case of bi-partisan outreach that may lead to meaningful political action on climate change.
Progressive hard-liners (such as Naomi Klein) may argue that the only way to save the earth is a total overthrow of the present order, but for many of us, the issue of climate change is such a pressing and overriding challenge, that we can’t wait for that ultimate power shift. In the meantime, there is a growing coalition of activists who see a distinct possibility for a bi-partisan, market-based solution in the form of Carbon Fee and Dividend that economists have shown is the quickest way to achieving global reductions in our atmospheric carbon burden. Ron Kind recognizes this threat and has spoken favorably towards this approach. He has now taken an important first step towards making this happen and deserves our appreciation.
Bipartisan Climate Solutions Caucus Welcomes 5 New Members, Now At 78
Citizens Climate Lobby (5/18/18)
WASHINGTON, D.C. — Continuing to expand its membership toward the critical mass needed to enact climate legislation, the bipartisan Climate Solutions Caucus this week welcomed five new members — Representatives Erik Paulsen (R-MN), Tom MacArthur (R-NJ), Eliot Engel (D-NY), Peter Roskam (R-IL), and Ron Kind (D-WI).
The caucus now has 78 members, evenly divided between Republicans and Democrats.
“Citizens’ Climate Lobby is thrilled to see the caucus continue to grow, even in a hyper-partisan election year,” said CCL Executive Director Mark Reynolds. “These courageous House members are helping to depoliticize the climate issue, which is a prerequisite for passing bipartisan legislation.”
Rep. Paulsen fills the Republican slot that opened when Rep. Pat Meehan (R-PA) recently resigned. Paulsen, an avid skier, met with several Winter Olympians last month, including Minnesota cross-country gold medalist Jessie Diggins. Diggins and the other athletes shared their concern that climate change is making it difficult to participate and compete in winter sports, and she urged Paulsen to join the Climate Solutions Caucus.
In a press release, caucus co-chair Rep. Carlos Curbelo (R-FL) said, “We have a responsibility to our constituents and future generations to present a united front to combat anti-climate policies and to have a productive, fact-based dialogue about market-oriented solutions, investments, and innovations that could mitigate the effects of climate change and make our nation more resilient. I’m grateful these new members are willing to step up and turn their concern into action by joining and welcome their valuable input.”
Curbelo’s Democratic counterpart, Rep. Ted Deutch, added, “The growth in size and regional diversity of this caucus is a reflection of the broad consensus among Americans that climate change is an urgent issue that demands action by Congress. As we gear up for hurricane season, I welcome this bipartisan support from my colleagues for the Caucus’ efforts to address the growing threats of climate change.”
New Jersey’s MacArthur said, “My district is home to the heart of the Jersey Shore, Barnegat Bay, the Pine Barrens and the Delaware River. Climate change and other environmental issues directly impact our area and our South Jersey economy. I am proud to join the bipartisan Climate Solutions Caucus to find practical solutions to the environmental challenges we face.”
Democrat Engel from New York said, “Climate change should never have become a partisan issue, even though many in Congress have treated it that way. It’s a global issue that affects every one of us in a very real, consequential way. As such, Democrats and Republicans must come together to find real world solutions to the growing crisis, and one avenue for that type of bipartisan work is the Climate Solutions Caucus.”