PORTLAND, ME -- Led by U.S. Rep. Kathy Castor, Democrats on the Select Committee on the Climate Crisis released a comprehensive report Tuesday detailing policies and programs to tackle climate change at the federal level. The report is based on twelve pillars of action with the overall goal of achieving net zero carbon dioxide emissions in the United States by 2050. The focus includes transforming our transportation system, preserving natural resources and public lands, increasing clean energy, and improving clean water infrastructure.
Anya Fetcher, State Director of Environment Maine, issued the following statement about the report:
"As climate pollution reaches unprecedented levels, our federal leaders must make climate solutions a top priority, and they must do so quickly. The Select Committee report is the most comprehensive climate plan we’ve ever seen out of Congress. It reflects the wide range of profound changes we need to get a handle on the climate crisis -- from the things we buy to the energy we use to the ways we treat the natural world. It's a bold blueprint at a time that requires bold action, and many of the policies overlap with the recommendations presented to the Maine Climate Council only two weeks ago. We look forward to working with Mainers from all parties and perspectives to push forward these recommendations and ensure that future generations of Mainers have a livable climate to call home.
Environment Maine’s national programming teams released the following statements on the specific pillars presented in the report:
Andrea McGimsey, senior director, Global Warming Solutions Campaign:
“With a growing majority of Americans concerned about the impacts of climate change on their families and communities, we expect our elected leaders to act.
“Rep. Castor and the Select Committee on the Climate Crisis are showing that’s possible. A better future is within our reach -- a future of clean energy, abundant natural lands, and a reimagined economy that puts care for people and the planet first. We hope today’s report launches a national conversation about how to build that future -- and tackle global warming -- together.”
Morgan Folger, Environment America’s Destination: Zero Carbon campaign director, based in Philadelphia, said:
“Cars and trucks powered by fossil fuels must be relegated to the history books. By calling for 100 percent zero-emission car sales by 2035 and zero-emission heavy-duty trucks by 2040, the select committee would put America on a path to cleaner, healthier transportation.”
Matt Casale, U.S. PIRG Transportation Campaign director, said:
“Transportation is climate enemy No. 1 in America, and the select committee report proposes a bold agenda for change. Doubling funding for public transportation, especially if paired with efforts to make our communities more walkable and bikeable, would make it easier for Americans to drive less and live more.”
Johanna Neumann, senior director of Environment America’s Campaign for 100% Renewable Energy, said:
“The select committee report lays out ambitious recommendations to help transition America to a future powered by cleaner, greener energy. Sensible and necessary steps such as eliminating global warming emissions from the electricity sector by 2040, expanding federal clean energy tax incentives, and prioritizing energy efficiency and conservation will advance meaningful action. It’s the type of action that can’t come too soon.”
Steve Blackledge, senior director of Environment America’s Conservation America Campaign, said:
“Whether you’re on the coast of New England, in Hawaii or inland, Americans understand and appreciate the overwhelming value of our natural heritage and our obligation to safeguard it for future generations. We are glad to see the House select committee recognize conservation of our public lands and waters as a core solution to the mounting threat of climate change. We look forward to working with congressional members to set a national goal of protecting 30 percent of our lands and oceans by 2030.”
Kelsey Lamp, advocate for Environment America’s Protect Our Oceans Campaign, said:
“No drilling means no spilling. As America breaks our dependence on oil, we can also eliminate the threat that offshore oil disasters pose to our beaches. The select committee's call for a ban on new offshore oil leasing is a key step toward protecting marine life and pristine beaches, which are at risk of a spill. In an era when oceans are showing the increasingly acute effects of global warming, we need our decision-makers to act to safeguard this rich source of so much of the world’s life.”
Alex Truelove, U.S. PIRG’s director of Zero Waste Campaign, said:
“Reducing waste and the production of disposable plastic -- a fossil fuel by-product -- is a critical weapon for fighting climate change. The Break Free From Plastic Pollution Act highlighted in the report will help us reduce the amount of resources we use once and throw away, and encourage a shift toward the consumption habits that a healthier planet requires.”
John Rumpler, Environment America’s senior director for Clean Water for America Campaign, said:
“Climate change is exacerbating water woes -- from flooding and sewage overflows to toxic algal outbreaks. The Select Committee on the Climate Crisis report responds to this new reality with urgently needed investments to prevent water pollution and help ensure safe drinking water for all.”
Environment Maine is a statewide citizen-based environmental advocacy group dedicated to protecting our air, water, and open spaces. We investigate problems, craft solutions, educate the public and decision-makers, and help the public make their voices heard in local, state, and national debates over the quality of our environment and our lives. For more information, visit www.EnvironmentMaine.org.