In this episode of Zero Net Fifty, Jennifer Delony and Joel Stronberg look at new climate proposals currently being considered by Congress and lawmakers in Vermont.
In Vermont, a new policy for action on global warming is making its way through the legis-lature. The proposed law comes complete with the rules needed to hold the state accountable should it fail to meet the aggressive emissions reduction goals established by the Act.
At the federal level, we saw the U.S. House Select Committee on the Climate Crisis release its proposed pathway to a net zero emissions target by 2050. The Select Committee’s report is dubbed the “Congressional Action Plan for a Clean Energy Economy and a Healthy, Resilient and Just America.”
While the release of pathway document presents a good opportunity to see what Democrats on the Committee are thinking, the thoughts of its Republican members were left out. Surprisingly, the Republicans’ response was not as negative as one might expect. Does it point to an interest on the part of Republicans to open a dialogue that could result in forward progress on climate policies? Possibly—but only time will tell.
Further action by the Democrats in Congress came wrapped in the packaging of an infrastructure bill complete with plenty of green provisions, along with a proposed on energy efficiency. Like all legislation coming out of the U.S. House these days, sweeping legislation other than on the coronavirus that causes COVID-19 or and needed appropriations for the coming fiscal year that starts on October 1, 2020 has little chance of passage.
The big picture priorities, specific to how the U.S. thinks about climate change and how it will address it, are changing. Among those changes is the prominence of environmental justice in the minds of Democratic politicians.
Energy and climate are front and center in the national debate that will continue until the polls open on November 3rd, when America votes. The next watershed moments for the debate, however, will as both parties hold their nominating conventions later next month.
Click the link below for the podcast:
Lead image courtesy of David Clode on Unsplash
Joel B. Stronberg
Joel Stronberg, MA, JD., of The JBS Group is a veteran clean energy policy analyst with over 30 years’ experience, based in Washington, DC.