And Congress is back, heating things up in Washington, DC. We were particularly thrilled with the outcome of last night’s vote. Go, eco-right, go! #votingblock
The House holds: Thursday night, the House of Representatives held off by a vote of 185 to 234 an attempt to strike provisions in the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) that identify climate change as a direct threat to national security. Eco-right stalwarts Rep. Elise Stefanik and Rep. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen took to the House floor to defend the underlying language against the amendment. Stefanik, who chairs the Armed Services Subcommittee on Emerging Threats and Capabilities, said “we would be remiss in our efforts to protect our national security” by not taking into account the effect of climate change on the armed forces. Ros-Lehtinen noted the threat of sea-level rise on military installations. Both are members of the bipartisan House Climate Solutions Caucus. In total, 46 GOP members voted to kill the amendment.
Resilience: In Miami, Republican Mayor Tomas Regalado released a proposal budget, his final as mayor. The $1 billion proposal includes investments for climate change preparation, including a $600,000 bump for a new resiliency office tasked with bracing the coastal city for the impacts of climate change.
Advancement: Mayor Steve Hogan of Aurora, Colorado put his support behind the state’s plan to uphold the Paris Climate Agreement. “We can no longer rely on what happens or doesn’t happen in Washington, D.C.,” Hogan said, while touting his state’s desire to move forward not back on energy policy.
Readiness: President Donald Trump’s nominee to be the Secretary of the Navy, Richard V. Spencer, told the Senate Armed Services Committee considering his confirmation he is “totally aware of rising water” and other threats posed by climate change. “We must protect our infrastructure, and I will work hard to make sure we are keeping an eye on that because without the infrastructure, we lose readiness.” (Fun side note: my old boss, Senator John Warner, gave an opening statement supporting Spencer’s nomination.)
Mais, oui? After meeting with French President Emmanuel Macron, President Donald Trump appeared to open the door for a reversal on his decision to pull the U.S. out of the Paris Climate Accord. “Something could happen with respect to the Paris accords, let’s see what happens,” Trump said at a news conference. “If it happens, that will be wonderful, and if it doesn’t, that’ll be OK too.”
Caucus grows: New Jersey’s Rep. Leonard Lance joined the House Climate Solutions Caucus. “The economic and national security effects posed by climate change cannot be ignored or denied,” Lance said in a statement. “There is a great tradition of conservation within the Republican Party. Presidents Lincoln, Roosevelt, Eisenhower, Nixon and Reagan all understood that conservation is conservative. Republicans in Congress today should enact policies that embrace this great conservation legacy.”
Enjoy the weekend and stay tuned for more news from the eco-right next week.