This week’s must read: Carlos Curbelo wants to be a Republican leader on climate change – if he can keep his seat (Miami Herald)
And, if you want a debrief on the President’s energy remarks yesterday, read: How Trump’s 6 energy initiatives will impact the industry (Axios)
The Governator makes a new friend: Former California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger tweeted out a clip of him with the newly elected President of France, Emmanuel Macron, vowing to “make the planet great again.” Schwarzenegger, who said he and Macron talked about “environmental issues and a green future” together, has been a long-time advocate for policies to reduce carbon emissions and tackle climate change.
I was truly honored to meet with President @EmmanuelMacron about how we can work together for a clean energy future. He’s a great leader. pic.twitter.com/MSoxjIruup
Arnold (@Schwarzenegger) June 23, 2017
Mayors march forward: At a meeting of the U.S. Conference of Mayors, a dozen mayors, including Miami’s Tomas Regalado, signed a climate oath, vowing to “intensify efforts to meet each of our cities’ current climate goals” and “create a 21st century clean energy economy.” Regalado, a Republican in a non-partisan position, later said “It’s disturbing that we keep hearing and reading that climate change and civil rights is a partisan issue, that Democrats think one way and Republicans think another way… we’re looking to Washington, but we’re not hopeful.” Mayor Elizabeth Kautz, the longtime Republican mayor of Burnsville, Minnesota, said “everybody cares about the environment, and everybody wants clean air and clean water… We don’t really need the federal government. We are going to do what’s right for our people.”
Time for climate solutions: Retiring Republican Florida Congresswoman Ileana Ros-Lehtinen, in a blog post for the Ocean Conservancy, cited the many economical reasons for her region to embrace climate change action. With Miami alone supporting an annual tourist industry of more than $25 billion, 175,000 jobs across the state in commercial and recreational fishing, and local economic benefits to South Florida’s coral reefs, she called it “critical” to “identify climate solutions” for the Sunshine State. “I believe that together, we can identify solutions to climate change that are economically viable and preserve our coastal communities, our culture and our way of life,” she wrote. Ros-Lehtinen is a co-sponsor of the Stefanik climate resolution and a member of the House Climate Solutions Caucus.
Debate club: Department of Energy Secretary Rick Perry, speaking to reporters for the kick-off of what the Administration is calling “Energy Week” called for an open debate on climate change. “I mean, what is the other side? The people who say ‘the science is settled. It’s done. If you don’t believe that, you’re a skeptic. A luddite.’ I don’t buy that,” he said. “This is America. Have a conversation. Let’s come out of the shadows of hiding behind your political statements and let’s talk about it. What’s wrong with that? And I’m full wellyou knowI can be convinced. But why not, let’s talk about it.” We welcome that debate!
Costello’s climate bonafides: In an interview with E&E Daily (sorry for those without a subscription) Pennsylvania’s Congressman Ryan Costello, who represents a competitive district identified as a “bellwether” race for 2018, explains why he considers action on climate change “beyond partisanship.” The two-term lawmaker is a member of the House Climate Solutions Caucus and a leading co-sponsor of the Stefanik climate resolution. He described his early days in local politics as influencing his interest in climate action.
Caucus swells: The House Climate Solutions Caucus gained another bipartisan pair of members. Ohio Congressman David Joyce became the 28th Republican to join.
Climate change and national security: The House Armed Services Committee approved an amendment to the National Defense Authorization Act stating that climate change is a “direct threat to the national security and the United States” and asking the Pentagon to report to Congress within a year, identifying the ten military installations most vulnerable to climate damage. It also asks for a discussion of how climate change will affect top commanders of fielded forces who may have to deal with instability brought on by a climate crisis. In his confirmation hearing, Defense Secretary James Mattis called climate change a “driver of instability” that requires a “whole-of-government response” to address.
Climate jester: Related to the last point, for comments made at the House Armed Services Committee hearing this week, Wyoming’s Congresswoman Liz Cheney, daughter of former Vice President Dick Cheney, is this week’s climate jester. In pre-vote debate on the amendment, Cheney was the lone lawmaker to speak out against the measure. She expressed concern that asking the Pentagon to focus on the national security impacts of climate change is forcing them “to take their eye off the ball.” The amendment passed by voice vote despite her opposition.
Raise your hand if you’re taking a long weekend! We will be watching the news for you on Monday, but taking Tuesday to celebrate independence. Happy early birthday, America!