Seventeen Republicans have announced that they are ready to address climate change. It is a bold move, considering its party has traditionally refused to broach the subject. Moreover, Republican President Donald Trump once said that climate change is a hoax.
17 Republicans defy Trump and party.
On Wednesday, Congresswoman Elise Stefanik, Congressman Carlos Curbelo and Congressman Ryan Costello introduced a resolution calling for “American ingenuity, innovation, and exceptionalism” to study and address the causes and effects of climate change. They were joined by Reps. Mark Amodei, Don Bacon, Barbara Comstock, John Faso, Brian Fitzpatrick, John Katko, Mia Love, Ileana Ros-Lehtinen, Frank LoBiondo, Brian Mast, Pat Meehan, Tom Reed, David Reichert, and Mark Sanford.
The goal is to come up with “economically viable” ways to address the environmental problem. At the same time, the resolution also said it would “balance human activities” found to have an impact on climate change.
Republican congressman says his state is affected by climate change.
“We understand that protecting our environment plays an important role in promoting economic growth and opportunity,” Congresswoman Stefanik said in a statement. Meanwhile, Congressman Curbelo pointed out that his state of Florida is on the front lines of climate change. “South Florida residents are already beginning to feel the effects of climate change in their daily lives,” he explained.
Following the introduction of this resolution, Friends Committee On National Legislation Executive Secretary Diane Randall released a statement saying, “This resolution shows that our moral obligation to address climate change and protect vulnerable communities transcends partisanship.” The White House has refused to comment on this development, as per reports.
The announcement comes after Trump-appointed Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Scott Pruitt said during an interview with CNBC that carbon dioxide is not the “primary contributor” to global warming. This is in stark contrast to findings of the agency he is now in charge of.
In response, democrats led by Portland Democrat Congressman Earl Blumenauer decided to educate Pruitt on climate change. In a statement, Blumenauer announced that he and his colleagues will send Pruitt reading materials on the subject. These include the “Climate Literacy Guide” by the U.S. Global Change Research Program and a copy of “Climate Change 2013: The Physical Science Basis” report. Enclosed is a letter that reads, “We saw your comments last week on CNBC’s Squawk Box. It’s clear that you need to read the enclosed reports.”