WASHINGTON – The warnings about climate change are dire: bigger floods, larger fires, larger storms. Most experts agree there’s little to prevent these catastrophes without swift…
WASHINGTON – The warnings about climate change are dire: bigger floods, larger fires, larger storms.
Most experts agree there’s little to prevent these catastrophes without swift action on climate change.
Enter Rep. Kathy Castor, the Florida Democrat that House Speaker Nancy Pelosi has chosen to chair the new Select Committee on the Climate Crisis.
A Capitol Hill veteran and clean energy champion with a background as an environmental lawyer, the Tampa Democrat plans to shine a light on the very climate issues many Democratic candidates ran on in November to win back the House.
Over the next 15 months, the panel will make policy recommendations, push for legislation and cast a spotlight on the growing dangers of man-made global warming that’s spelled out in a chilling a federal report released in November.
“We are in a race against time,” Castor, 52, told USA TODAY recently.
The committee already faces obstacles:
• Republicans, who have consistently downplayed the effects of climate change, say the panel is unfairly partisan (nine Democrats vs. six Republicans).
• Progressives, who support a comprehensive approach known as the Green New Deal, worry the committee won’t be aggressive enough.
The panel will only be able to do so much.
It won’t have the power to subpoena documents or depose witnesses. It ultimately will have to rely on standing committees to adopt its recommendations. And any ambitious measures are unlikely to win passage in the Republican-held Senate or be signed by President Donald Trump who has dismissed global warming as a “hoax” and made environmental deregulation a cornerstone of his economic agenda.

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