Oct 31, 2019

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

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.

Go deeper

House Democrats' vague net-zero carbon emissions proposal

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

Top House Democrats are taking a page from the Green New Deal playbook by offering a sweeping proposal that’s aimed at building momentum — but leaves tough choices for later.

Driving the news: Thursday, over 150 House Democrats floated legislation aimed at bringing the country to net-zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2050.

Go deeperArrowNov 22, 2019

Net-zero carbon pledges are still rare among energy companies

Despite some splashy pledges, the energy industry overall is just at the early stages of adopting "net-zero" carbon emissions plans, a new report shows.

Why it matters: Achieving global net-zero emissions by mid-century is a widely cited target in a steep uphill battle to meet the Paris agreement goal of limiting warming to 1.5 °C.

Go deeperArrowNov 14, 2019

Inside Republicans' defense strategy for impeachment

Jim Jordan. Photo: Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images

Republican members and staffers on the House Intelligence Committee spent the weekend planning how to undermine the witnesses' credibility and convince the viewing public that Democrats have wiped away their due process rights.

Driving the news: This week will see three key witnesses in the impeachment inquiry testify publicly for the first time. Republicans plan to unleash their top attack dogs — including Rep. Jim Jordan, who was just made a member of the committee on Friday, and his general counsel Steve Castor, who will lead their interrogation.

Go deeperArrowNov 10, 2019