Oct 31, 2019 - Energy & Environment

What's next for the House's select committee on climate change

Representative Cathy Castor.

Photo: Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call

Rep. Kathy Castor (D-Fla.), the chair of the House Select Committee on the Climate Crisis, spoke on a recent episode of the Columbia Energy Exchange podcast.

Why it matters: The panel is tasked with coming up with policy recommendations by the end of March 2020 to guide House legislation.

A few takeaways:

1. They're far from decided on some very big things. The overall goal is bringing U.S. emissions to net-zero by 2050. But from there, details remain scarce.

  • For instance, when host Bill Loveless asked about CO2 pricing, Castor signaled an openness to a tax, cap-and-trade, a clean energy standard (which isn't technically a price, I know), and more.
  • She also said the committee will soon have a hearing on pricing.

2. But she's mindful that time will be of the essence when it's actually time for the House to legislate.

  • Castor added that as the committee continues to solicit proposals, she's looking for ideas that "come with coalitions behind them."
  • She cited one example of stakeholders rallying behind electric school buses.

3. Castor didn't sound optimistic about a sea change among Republicans.

  • “What’s interesting here is while the dialogue has changed a little among my GOP colleagues, most now will admit that the climate is changing, they are still not voting that way,” she said.
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