September 19, 2019

Kilmer, New Democrat Coalition Releases Priorities for U.S. Climate Policy

Members Endorse Bills to Act on Climate Change Policy in Congress

Washington, DC – The New Democrat Coalition (NDC), led by Chair Derek Kilmer and the NDC Climate Change Task Force Co-Chairs, released policy principles and endorsed legislation yesterday to combat climate change. In doing so, the NDC seeks to address the climate challenge with the urgency the crisis demands and to embrace the notion that the United States, through its powerful economy and culture of innovation, can be best positioned to be the global leader developing and producing the next generation technologies to help the international community combat climate change. 

“There’s no denying it: climate change is real and it requires bold action. In my neck of the woods, we are seeing tribal communities facing the prospect of having to move to higher ground.  Those who work in our fisheries and shellfish growers are seeing changing ocean chemistries threaten their livelihoods. And we have seen a growing threat of forest fires throughout Washington State. The American people are not just demanding action – but also leadership – to counter the threat of climate change,” said Rep. Kilmer. “We know that, if we do this right, we can not only help our planet – we can create quality jobs and sustainable economic growth. I am proud of the leadership of our coalition as we work for action.”

The NDC is supporting an ambitious agenda that leverages every decarbonization solution available to advance a swift and just transition to a more sustainable planet and economy. The NDC intends to promote U.S. policies that are politically durable and long lasting and that build bipartisan consensus where possible.

The NDC will work to advance climate policies that address the following principles and corresponding bills:

  1. Combatting climate change requires global action and American leadership.
    • H.R. 9 - Climate Action Now Act (Rep. Kathy Castor)
    • H.R. 3110 - Climate Security Intelligence Act (Rep. Denny Heck)
  1. Transitioning to a climate-forward economy represents an opportunity to mobilize our economy and create high quality jobs.
    • H.R. 1166 - USE IT Act (Rep. Scott Peters)
    • H.R. 3306 - Nuclear Energy Leadership Act (Rep. Elaine Luria)
    • H.R.4230 - Clean Industrial Technology Act (Rep. Sean Casten)
    • H.R.3423 - National Green Bank Act (Rep. Jim Himes)
    • H.R.4091 - Advanced Research Projects Agency – Energy (ARPA-E) Reauthorization Act (Rep. Eddie Bernice Johnson)
    • H.R. 2597 - Clean Energy Standard Act (Rep. Ben Ray Luján)
    • H.R. 2711 - Methane Waste Prevention Act (Rep. Diana DeGette)
    • H.R. 4143 – Super Pollutants Act (Rep. Scott Peters)
  1. Enacting a climate-forward agenda requires investing in communities, resilience and relief.
    • H.R. 4093 - National Ocean and Coastal Security Improvements Act (Rep. Don Beyer)
    • H.R.2156 - RECLAIM Act of 2019 (Rep. Matt Cartwright)

“The New Democrat Coalition looks forward to building on the work of many of our colleagues. We aim to make immediate progress toward our decarbonization goals by building bridges to groups historically resistant to facing the reality and magnitude of this threat, and accomplishing real, tangible, legislative progress that unleashes the economic opportunities of addressing the current and future impacts of climate change,” the principles read.

Elected officials, think tanks, and organizations from across the country have announced their support for the initiative:

“The climate crisis is the existential crisis of our time, and we must lead a Caucus and Congress-wide effort to combat this threat, enlisting the diverse experience, expertise and perspectives of the Members of the People’s House. As Speaker of the House, I applaud the continued leadership of the New Democrat Coalition as they take this step to help protect our planet for generations to come.” - Rep. Nancy Pelosi, Speaker of the House

“Climate change is a crisis that demands action by Congress, and I am glad that the New Democrat Coalition is fully engaged in helping to meet this challenge.  As Members focused on achieving bipartisan solutions, the New Democrat Coalition is in a unique position to contribute to building broad support for much-needed actions to reduce carbon pollution and invest in developing and deploying more energy efficient technologies.” - Rep. Steny Hoyer, House Majority Leader

“The Nature Conservancy applauds the New Democrat Coalition’s Principles for Climate Policy and endorsement of a slate of bills that will drive innovation and move the U.S. toward a prosperous, low carbon economy. We appreciate the coalition’s recognition of the urgent need to address climate impacts and the carbon pollution that causes them.  We look forward to working with the New Democrat Coalition, members on both sides of the aisle, and all relevant stakeholders to build bipartisan support for comprehensive and immediate action on climate change.” - Jason Albritton, Director of Climate and Energy Policy for North America, Nature Conservancy

“To protect our kids’ health, create quality jobs, and upgrade critical infrastructure, the U.S. must secure a 100% clean economy. This bold and achievable goal is supported by a diverse group of lawmakers, and EDF is pleased to see the New Democrat Coalition find effective and efficient solutions to the climate crisis.”- Elizabeth Gore, Senior Vice President, Political Affairs, Environmental Defense Fund

“BPC Action commends the New Democrat Coalition for coming together on climate change policies that are pro-economic growth and pro-energy innovation.  Both are necessary steps to meet our climate challenges and produce the next generation of energy technologies. We look forward to working with the Coalition to move energy legislation in a bipartisan manner this Congress.” - Michele Stockwell, Bipartisan Policy Center Action Executive Director

“The 103-Member New Democrat Coalition has taken an important step today in the fight against climate change, endorsing a goal of achieving net zero emissions by 2050 at the latest, and announcing principles that recognize both the magnitude of the risk we face and the size of the opportunity available to us if we act together boldly and with determination. This is exactly the kind of commitment we need to see from our political leaders. I applaud this announcement.” - Todd Stern, Former Climate Envoy for President Obama

“The New Democrat Coalition’s climate change priorities would promote U.S. policies that are politically durable and build bipartisan consensus where possible. In particular, the Clean Industrial Technology Act (H.R.3978) would dedicate federal investment to industries that are responsible for a significant proportion of global carbon emissions, yet lack economically viable climate solutions. And the Advanced Research Projects Agency – Energy (ARPA-E) Reauthorization Act (H.R.4091) would expand one of the most effective federal research agencies, which helps solve problems that are too risky for the private sector to address. Solutions to key climate challenges will only emerge if the United States uses all the innovation policy tools at its disposal, and these bills would focus necessary attention on supporting innovation through sustained, thoughtful policy.”- David Hart, Senior Fellow, Information Technology and Innovation Foundation 

The principles and bills were endorsed by the NDC. Read the one-pager and the full principles.