Sunday, August 6, 2017

Climate Solutions Caucus in House of Representatives offers bipartisan conversation on climate change

Randy Gyory, PA Co-Coordinator for Citizens’ Climate Lobby
Energy & Environment Committee Member

Healthcare, taxes, and Presidential tweets - it’s no secret we live in highly polarized times. In this highly polarized Congress, however, one new caucus in the U.S. House of Representatives offers a new way forward: the bipartisan Climate Solutions Caucus.

Wait... Respectful, bipartisan conversation, and action? On climate change? Yes. Members of Congress purposefully join the Caucus in pairs of one Republican and one Democrat.

The Caucus then offers a safe and welcoming space for conversation about how climate change will impact the citizens of this country, and which policies will best address the challenges we face. The Caucus was founded by two Floridian Representatives, Republican Carlos Curbelo and Democrat Ted Deutch, who share concerns about the risk to south Florida from rising seas and worsening storms. There are now 46 Members of Congress who have chosen to engage in this productive, respectful and bipartisan conversation about our future, including Pennsylvania Republicans Brian Fitzpatrick, Ryan Costello, and Patrick Meehan.

I believe that it is crucial that the Lehigh Valley have a seat at the table as Congress discusses economically viable ways to protect our national security, infrastructure, agriculture, and public health from climate related destruction. It is my personal belief that Representatives Charlie Dent (R) and Matt Cartwright (D), who each are comfortable working together and across the aisle, should strongly consider joining the Climate Solutions Caucus together to ensure that the voices of the Valley are heard.

As Representative Fitzpatrick said recently about the Caucus, “We need to get beyond this Hatfields versus McCoys brand of politics.” The Climate Solutions Caucus offers one small but important way to do just that.

As this article was going to press, Rep. Matt Cartwright joined the Climate Solutions Caucus with Rep. Leonard Lance (R-NJ).

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