On Tuesday, the House Select Committee on the Climate Crisis unveiled a comprehensive plan to put the country on the path to net-zero carbon pollution by 2050, recommending five bills introduced by Representative Derek Kilmer (WA-06) as part of its congressional climate action framework.
“There is no debate that climate crisis is real and it’s past time for bold action. Already, our communities are experiencing the devastating impacts of our changing climate, which is why this report and Congressional action is so urgently needed,” said Rep. Kilmer. “I’m proud that the House is continuing to take action to combat climate change by moving forward with actionable, ambitious legislation, including the five bills I have introduced that were included in these recommendations, that can not only help our planet – but create quality jobs and keep communities safe. Time is running out – and Congress must act.”
The comprehensive plan, titled “Solving the Climate Crisis: The Congressional Action Plan for a Clean Energy Economy and a Healthy, Resilient, and Just America,”would power economic recovery through clean energy investment and family-sustaining jobs, and address the legacy of environmental injustice harming America’s low-income communities and communities of color.
The Climate Crisis Action Plan calls on Congress to:
- Grow the economy and put Americans back to work in clean energy jobs;
- Protect the health of all families;
- Make sure communities and farmers can withstand the impacts of climate change; and
- Protect America’s land and waters for the next generation.
“The impacts of climate change – such as sea level rise and flooding – are real and growing. Local and tribal governments need to act quickly and creatively keep their communities safe. We’re pleased to see that the Climate Crisis Action Plan released today includes recommendations for new tools and funding mechanisms proposed by Congressman Kilmer that will empower local communities to build a resilient future in the face of climate change,” said Mike Stevens, Washington State Director, The Nature Conservancy.
“As a Sierra Club leader, I’m gratified to see concrete and ambitious legislative proposals to deal with the climate crisis, our highest environmental priority,” said Marc Sullivan, Vice-Chair, Sierra Club Washington Chapter. “As a 6th Congressional District resident, I’m especially excited to see my Congressman, Derek Kilmer, leading on so much of this critical agenda.”
“As part of their Climate Crisis Action Plan, the Committee has included recommending passage of the Tribal Coastal Resiliency Act, HR 729. This is an important bill that will make grant funding available to Tribal nations for the protection and preservation of Tribal coastal zones and areas. This funding will be very helpful to every Tribe that is dealing with rising sea level, and coastal and shoreline degradation and destabilization due to climate change,” said Fawn Sharp, President, Quinault Indian Nation.
Mike Kelly, co-leader of the Bainbridge Island Citizens’ Climate Lobby said, “Rep. Kilmer has consistently looked for bipartisan ways to address the risks of climate change. His position representing one of the districts most vulnerable to climate change – from ocean rise threatening coastal communities, to acidification threatening the fisheries industry so vital to the Northwest, to the risks facing our major Naval installations in Kitsap – has informed the urgency of his response. Rep. Kilmer never seeks to score political points on this issue – he brings Republican colleagues to his district; he seeks out consensus and supports bills that can cross the partisan divide in search of real answers. He’s a national leader on climate change in the House and one we are so proud to have as our Representative.”
The five bills introduced by Rep. Kilmer and recommended for action for Congress to enact include:
- The Ocean Acidification Innovation Act: bipartisan legislation introduced by Rep. Kilmer to expand the ability to research, monitor, and manage ocean acidification and its impacts. The legislation passed the House with bipartisan support on June 5, 2019.
- The Tribal Coastal Resiliency Act: bipartisan legislation introduced by Rep. Kilmer that would provide dedicated resources to Native American tribes living in coastal areas to support their efforts to mitigate threats caused by climate change and sea level rise. The bill would expand the Coastal Zone Management Act to provide the necessary tools tribes need to protect their people and landmarks from changing landscapes and weather events. The legislation passed the House with bipartisan support as part of the Coastal and Great Lake Communities Enhancement Act on December 10, 2019.
- The Coastal and Great Lakes Communities Enhancement Act: a package of bipartisan bills led by Rep. Kilmer to protect vulnerable coastal and Great Lakes communities impacted by climate change. The package includes the Tribal Coastal Resiliency Act; creates programs to support Tribal, State, and local community projects that protect, restore, and preserve coastal zones and working waterfronts; helps communities prepare for and respond to the impacts of climate change; and improves data collection and monitoring to strengthen coastal, ocean, and Great Lakes management. The legislation passed the House with bipartisan support on December 10, 2019.
- The Wild Olympics Wilderness and Wild and Scenic Rivers Act: legislation introduced by Rep. Kilmer to permanently protect more than 126,000 acres of public land as wilderness and 19 rivers and their major tributaries as Wild and Scenic Rivers. This carefully balanced legislation – which would permanently protect the last remaining acres of ancient and mature forests on the Olympic Peninsula – was developed through years of extensive input from local communities, business, and other stakeholders. In addition to protecting these old growth forests, the bill would provide critical protections for salmon and steelhead habitat, and clean drinking water for local communities, while enhancing opportunities for the outdoor recreation community. The legislation passed the House with bipartisan support on February 12, 2020.
- The P3 Act: legislation introduced by Rep. Kilmer and Rep. Denny Heck (WA-10) to help communities and businesses invest in green infrastructure. The legislation would create a new category of tax-exempt Private Activity Bonds (PABs), which state and local governments can use to finance projects completed by private entities that reduce pollution. The legislation was introduced in the House on May 14, 2019.
Kilmer also co-sponsored many of the bills included in the report, including the Climate Action Now Act to have the United States re-enter the Paris Climate Agreement, as well as the 100% Clean Economy Act to put the United States on a path to economy-wide net-zero by 2050 at the latest.
The full report is available HERE.