Progressive national, New Jersey groups challenge Dem leader on 2050 climate bill
WASHINGTON – A coalition of national and New Jersey-based groups warned U.S. House Democratic leadership about Energy and Commerce Committee Chairman Frank Pallone’s (D-N.J.) recently introduced CLEAN Future Act.
In a letter, the groups call on Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) to set a higher standard for climate leadership. It faults Chairman Pallone’s bill for defining fracked gas as clean energy, setting a net zero climate target as late as 2050 and implementing emissions reductions through a market-based trading program.
“There is no time left for half-measures,” the groups warn in the letter. “The leadership of your committee chairs is ultimately a reflection on your leadership as Speaker. For the sake of the American people, the planet and future generations, we call upon you to set a much higher standard now.”
“Any serious plan to fight the worsening effects of our climate crisis must have stopping the extraction and burning of fossil fuels at its core,” said Mitch Jones, Policy Director at Food & Water Action. “The bill coming from Chairman Pallone leaves open the possibility of decades more use of fracked gas greenwashed as renewable. This is unacceptable. It’s climate change malfeasance. We need leaders in Congress to push for a ban on fracking, an end to new fossil fuel infrastructure, and a stop to the export of fossil fuels. Speaker Pelosi must ensure that the House show true leadership.”
“The climate crisis demands our most ambitious solutions,” said Lukas Ross, senior policy analyst at Friends of the Earth. “Chairman Pallone has shown that he is not taking the threat of climate change seriously. There is simply no time left for fracked gas and other climate non-solutions. With the report from the Select Committee imminent, we hope that Chairwoman Castor sets a higher bar for climate leadership.”
“The Orwellian legislation that Chairman Pallone has introduced is emblematic of the failures of the Democratic-led House in this Congress,” said Brett Hartl, government affairs director at the Center for Biological Diversity. “Ignoring the dire warnings of scientists about the need to slash emissions by 2030, and cherry picking the convenient facts, is nearly as bad as the Republican’s outright climate denial. The planet cannot afford more of this cynical political gamesmanship.”
“Speaker Pelosi should recognize how woefully unacceptable Frank Pallone’s CLEAN Future Act is if she is serious about slowing, stopping and reversing global climate disruption before we pass climate tipping points,” said Ted Glick of 350NJ. “A strong Green New Deal is the best and most realistic approach if we are serious about actually solving this existential crisis. Unfortunately, Frank Pallone does not seem to be.”
“My generation faces the frightening reality that our climate will collapse within our lifetimes unless we take immediate and decisive action to get off fossil fuels” said Pratik Mishra of The Sunrise Movement Rutgers. “The renewable energy solutions we need are ready to go, and they’ll create millions of jobs and make our lives better, but incremental half measures like the CLEAN Future Act simply won’t get us there. We need our elected representatives in Congress to unite with us behind the science, and join us in the fight for a strong Green New Deal.”
“Congressman Pallone’s legislation ignores the science and urgency of the planet’s climate challenge,” said Catherine Hunt of the Progress Democrats of America – NJ. “We don’t have any more time to waste; man-made climate destruction is already upon us. We cannot allow fracking cocktails to continue to pollute our water tables, our land, our air, and our communities any longer. We do not need one more drop of fracking waste, fracked gas, nor LNG. It is time for bold leadership.”
“We are in a climate emergency – full stop.” said Russell Greene, Senior Adviser on Strategy and Climate Policy for the Progressive Democrats of America. “We cannot pretend otherwise. We are racing towards irrecoverable tipping points in the earth’s climate system. Chairman Pallone’s proposal overlooks that truth. We no longer have time for half-measures. We need bold leadership and bold legislation with scientific reality in mind, and we need it now.”
“We don’t have time for policies that skirt around the hard choices or cater to an industry who has driven us to this point,” said Rebecca Concepcion Apostol, program director at Oil Change U.S. “Fossil gas has no place in any climate bills, nor does it have a place in our energy future where we adequately address our climate crisis. We need bold leadership from Congress on this emergency, not more of the same energy policies that let down communities on the front lines of the fossil fuel and climate crises every day.”
Contact: Erin Jensen, Friends of the Earth, (202) 222-0722, [email protected]