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Senators Smith, Whitehouse, Schatz, and Bennet questioning the witnesses in yesterday’s climate hearing.
Yesterday the members of the Senate Democrats Special Committee on the Climate Crisis interviewed Republican witnesses during a hearing about how Democrats might reach out to conservatives on the issue of climate change. No Republican senators participated and committee chair Senator Brian Schatz drove the point home in his opening statement:
“Today we continue to build the case that climate action is doable and not the exclusive domain of progressives. But right now Democrats don’t have a dance partner on climate action in the United States Senate. Our Republican colleagues have chosen not to be here.”
Witnesses for the hearing included:
Dr. Frank Luntz, Founder and CEO, FIL, Inc. and a veteran Republican pollster
Kiera O’Brien, Vice President of Students for Carbon Dividends at Harvard
Nick Huey, Founder of the Climate Campaign
While each witness had a different suggestion for how Democrats can best communicate climate change to unlikely constituencies, it was Dr. Lutz who came prepared with a graphic detailing specific word swaps:
The Overall Message: When it comes to talking climate, the left was advised to talk about the opportunities that can exist to better our nation rather than what the worst-case scenario might be. Additionally, the witnesses suggested that listening to conservatives who are willing to talk about climate change goes a long way, and creating dialogue where it can exist can lead to political action (like on a price on carbon). Listening to businesses and their needs was also a big theme, which was timely just as some of the largest automakers announced yesterday that they have been working with the state of California on emissions regulations despite President Trump’s regulatory rollbacks.
Why This Matters: This hearing was incredibly respectful and senators Schatz, Smith, Whitehouse, Heinrich, and Bennet truly took the time to listen to the witness panel and ask thoughtful questions. While there was a lot of talk of reaching across the aisle, extending a hand, and inviting colleagues to the table the stark reality was that those colleagues chose not to attend yesterday’s hearing. Certainly, there are republicans in the Senate who acknowledge climate change but when the Senate Majority Leader has committed to blocking any legislation that Democrats put forward it seems as if bipartisanship is DOA. Hopefully, the fact that young Republicans view climate change with urgency will mean that partisanship on climate won’t always be an issue.
by Kate Cullen “A bipartisan coalition in the U.S. Congress pushes for an economic stimulus that dramatically scales-up the transition to a net zero emissions” Today, this feels like an unthinkable headline, but after working on these issues in the U.K., I’ve come to believe that bipartisan action to decarbonizing the U.S. economy may not […]
It’s the time of year that Congress passes funding bills for agencies and this year’s mashup of bills — known as a “minibus” because it only funds some parts of the government — is chock full of environmental provisions intended to reverse Trump rollbacks, take actions the Administration has blocked, and to prevent them from taking others.
With hurricane season about to enter its peak, The Hill reported that six Democratic Senators demanded that the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) provide them assurances that they will put tougher rules in place to prevent another “Sharpie-gate” from interfering with the work of the weather and climate scientists at the agency.
Why This Matters: Dems are right to demand that there will be no political interference with agency forecasts during this hurricane season — the public’s safety must be paramount.
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