Members from Both Parties Joining Climate Solutions Caucus
Monday, August 28, 2017
PORTLAND, Ore. – A panel of congressional members seeking solutions to combat climate change is growing by leaps and bounds.
The Climate Solutions Caucus started with just a handful of members a few years ago, but now has 50. It's bipartisan, and for every Democratic member added, there must also be a new Republican.
The caucus is part of the Citizens' Climate Lobby, which has 370 chapters across the country.
Steve Valk, the group’s communications director, says the goal is to have discussions about climate change with no acrimony.
Volunteers work to recruit new congressional members to the caucus by telling them it's a safe place to have conversations, and to come up with possible solutions.
"We don't go in and tell people what we don't like about what they've said or done,” Valk points out. “We go in and tell them what we actually like about things they have done, and then from there we actually have a conversation with them to find the common ground."
Valk says the goal is to have the panel come together and draft major legislation to preserve the environment for many generations.
In Oregon, Democrats Suzanne Bonamici and Earl Blumenauer are members.
Valk says lawmakers on both sides of the aisle are responding to the increasing number of Americans who want something done about climate change.
"Their constituents are concerned about this and they want their representatives to be proactive on this, and this is a way for them to demonstrate that they're willing to start the wheels in motion to get something done," he states.
Valk maintains that despite climate change deniers in the Trump administration, many Republicans understand the science and know carbon pollution is a big problem, but aren't always admitting it in public.
"They want to do something but they also want to keep their seats in Congress, and so they're a little hesitant to step up until it's demonstrated to them that they have support in their districts," he explains.
This summer, with the help of 46 Republicans, the U.S. House defeated an amendment to a Defense Department authorization bill that would have blocked a study on the impact climate change is having on national security.
Valk gives credit to the members of the Climate Solutions Caucus who voted in favor of the study.
get more stories like this via email
College presidents testified before a congressional committee Tuesday on the rise of antisemitism on college campuses since the Oct. 7 Hamas-led …
There are some bright spots in beefing up local news coverage, but a new report says in North Dakota and elsewhere, there are still big concerns …
Health and Wellness
Holiday stress is a concern for most people, but when you mix in travel plans and chronic health issues, those worries might be elevated. A …
A new report from the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau finds the repayment process for federal student loans has been filled with errors…
More than 3,500 foster children are available for adoption in Ohio, and state agencies are connecting with local faith congregations to help recruit …
The California Department of Fish and Wildlife just announced a marine warden discovered an endangered Pacific leatherback sea turtle dead, drowned …
Health and Wellness
The state's largest county has just opened the new CARE Court system, designed to get help for severely mentally ill people in Los Angeles. CARE …
A Knoxville-based environmental group is voicing health and safety concerns about the development of a landfill for radioactive waste from the Y12 Ura…