Quantcast

House Committees Hold Hearings on Climate Change for First Time in Years

Politics
uschools / E+ / Getty Images

Climate change is back in the House. Emboldened under a new Democratic majority, two main energy and environment committees are holding simultaneous hearings Wednesday to discuss rising global temperatures and averting climate catastrophe, Roll Call reported.

This will be the House Energy and Commerce Committee's first hearing on climate change in six years, according to hearing host Rep. Paul Tonko (D-N.Y.), who leads the Subcommittee on Environment and Climate Change. For the Natural Resources Committee, it will be their first hearing on climate change in more than eight years.


Climate change has been all but ignored or downright dismissed under years of Republican leadership, but at today's Energy and Commerce hearing, the Democrats plan to build a "powerful record" in Congress on the costs of federal climate inaction and to better understand the benefits of transitioning to a clean energy economy, Tonko said in a video posted to Twitter.

"For everyone who has called on Congress to #ActOnClimate, we hear you. We believe the science, we understand the urgency and we are committed to getting results. Stay tuned," he tweeted.

The powerful House Energy and Commerce Committee, chaired by Rep. Frank Pallone (D-N.J.), has oversight on a broad range of agencies, including the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, the Department of Energy and the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission. Restoring environmental rules rolled back by President Trump are on the top panel's list, according to the New York Times.

The Natural Resources Committee, led by Rep. Raúl M. Grijalva (D-Ariz.), oversees federal conservation and species protection programs, including monitoring onshore and offshore oil and gas, renewable energy development, protecting public lands, species protection and Indigenous peoples affairs.

"Protecting our environment, taking climate change seriously, and putting the public interest first are not optional on this Committee, and that's what Democrats are going to do every day for the next two years," Grijalva said in a press release after announcing the Democratic leadership team and subcommittee memberships. "The American people want clean air and water and public lands protected for the future. It's our job to make sure they get them. Our entire team is excited to get started right away, and everyone should expect big things from this Committee."

In anticipation of the climate hearing, the Congressman invited American citizens to share their stories on they have been affected by wildfires, hurricanes, floods or other natural disasters made worse by climate change. Participants can also use the hashtag #ClimateChangeImpactsMe on social media.

"When you are from the Lowcountry, you live with the consequences of rising sea levels and climate change everyday," Freshmen Rep. Joe Cunningham (D-SC), a member of the Natural Resources Committee, responded via tweet.

Cunningham, was narrowly elected over Trump-endorsed Republican Katie Arrington, recently introduced a bill that places a ten-year moratorium on offshore drilling and seismic airgun blasting off the Atlantic and Gulf Coasts.

Kim Cobb, a climate scientist at Georgia Institute of Technology's School of Earth and Atmospheric Sciences, will testify before the House Natural Resources Committee on Wednesday will make "a strong case" on reducing the use of fossil fuels and present options for a low carbon future, she told Roll Call.

"I think that continued delays in developing a comprehensive federal level policy around climate change ... we can't endure them anymore," Cobb added.

Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY) and Senator Ed Markey (D-MA) are reportedly planning to introduce a resolution this week on the highly vaunted Green New Deal, Axios reported.

Show Comments ()

EcoWatch Daily Newsletter

Climate change activists gather in front of the stage at the Extinction Rebellion group's environmental protest camp at Marble Arch in London on April 22, on the eighth day of the group's protest calling for political change to combat climate change. TOLGA AKMEN / AFP / Getty Images

Extinction Rebellion, the climate protest that has blocked major London thoroughfares since Monday April 15, was cleared from three key areas over Easter weekend, The Guardian reported.

Read More Show Less
Pexels

By Alina Petre, MS, RD (CA)

Veganism refers to a way of living that attempts to minimize animal exploitation and cruelty. For this reason, vegans aim to exclude all foods containing meat, poultry, fish, eggs, dairy and honey from their diet (1).

Read More Show Less
Sponsored
American farmers use chlorpyrifos, a pesticide tied to brain and nervous system issues, on crops such as apples, broccoli, corn and strawberries. Stephanie Chapman / Flickr / CC BY 2.0

By Jessica Corbett

In a ruling welcomed by public health advocates, a federal court on Friday ordered the Trump administration to stop stalling a potential ban on a pesticide linked to brain damage in children, giving regulators until mid-July to make a final decision.

Read More Show Less
fstop123 / iStock / Getty Images Plus

At EcoWatch, our team knows that changing personal habits and taking actions that contribute to a better planet is an ongoing journey. Earth Day, happening on April 22, is a great reminder for all of us to learn more about the environmental costs of our behaviors like food waste or fast fashion.

To offer readers some inspiration this Earth Day, our team rounded up their top picks for films to watch. So, sit back and take in one of these documentary films this Earth Day. Maybe it will spark a small change you can make in your own life.

Read More Show Less
NASA

By Shuchi Talati

Solar geoengineering describes a set of approaches that would reflect sunlight to cool the planet. The most prevalent of these approaches entails mimicking volcanic eruptions by releasing aerosols (tiny particles) into the upper atmosphere to reduce global temperatures — a method that comes with immense uncertainty and risk. We don't yet know how it will affect regional weather patterns, and in turn its geopolitical consequences. One way we can attempt to understand potential outcomes is through models.

Read More Show Less
Sponsored
Maria Gunnoe Flight, courtesy of southwings.org

By Julia Conley

Green groups on Saturday celebrated the latest federal ruling aimed at preventing President Donald Trump from rolling back environmental regulations that were put in place by his predecessor.

Read More Show Less
NASA scientists flew over the Kuskokwim river in southwest Alaska in 2017 to investigate how water levels in the Arctic landscape change as permafrost thaws. Peter Griffith, NASA

By Tim Radford

Scientists have identified yet another hazard linked to the thawing permafrost: laughing gas. A series of flights over the North Slope of Alaska has detected unexpected levels of emissions of the greenhouse gas nitrous oxide from the rapidly warming soils.

Read More Show Less
Youtube screenshot

A woman has been caught on camera dumping a bag of puppies near a dumpster in Coachella, California, CNN reported Sunday.

Read More Show Less