House Republican Plans to Introduce Pro-Climate-Science Bill

Chris Gibson wants the GOP to “operate in the realm of knowledge and science.”

The smoke stacks at American Electric Power's (AEP) Mountaineer coal power plant in New Haven, West Virginia, October 30, 2009. In cooperation with AEP, the French company Alstom unveiled the world's largest carbon capture facility at a coal plant, so called 'clean coal,' which will store around 100,000 metric tonnes of carbon dioxide a year 2,1 kilometers (7,200 feet) underground.
Ben Geman
Add to Briefcase
See more stories about...
Ben Geman
Dec. 5, 2014, 11:25 a.m.

A Republican House member is battling the skepticism toward climate-change science that’s common in GOP ranks. And he wants to put lawmakers on record in the process.

Rep. Chris Gibson said Thursday he plans to introduce a resolution on climate change that will help others “recognize the reality” of the situation. Gibson said the extreme weather he has witnessed in his own upstate New York district supports the science, and he wants to be a leader in spurring recognition of changing weather patterns.

“My district has been hit with three 500-year floods in the last several years, so either you believe that we had a one in over 100 million probability that occurred, or you believe as I do that there’s a new normal, and we have changing weather patterns, and we have climate change. This is the science,” said the two-term lawmaker who was reelected in November.

“I hope that my party—that we will come to be comfortable with this, because we have to operate in the realm of knowledge and science, and I still think we can bring forward conservative solutions to this, absolutely, but we have to recognize the reality,” Gibson said. “So I will be bringing forward a bill, a resolution that states as such, with really the intent of rallying us, to harken us to our best sense, our ability to overcome hard challenges.”

Gibson spoke at an event hosted by Citizens for Responsible Energy Solutions, which is a pro-Republican advocacy group; a PAC that supports Republicans called Concord 51; and the Conservation Leadership Council, a group of conservatives that includes Gale Norton, who was Interior Secretary under George W. Bush. The Environmental Defense Fund helped create the CLC.

Event organizers provided a video clip of his comments. Gibson’s office did not respond to inquiries about the matter. But while the specifics of the effort aren’t yet clear, Gibson’s stances are at odds with many in the GOP’s ranks.

Ascendant Republicans on Capitol Hill are preparing fresh assaults on the White House climate agenda, and expressing continued doubts about the scientific consensus that burning fossil fuels and other human activity is the leading driver of global warming.

Incoming Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, during his reelection campaign in Kentucky, said he is “not a scientist” when asked about climate change, a line used by a number of Republicans.

Gibson, to be sure, hardly marches in lockstep with environmentalists. He supports the Keystone XL oil-sands pipeline and has voted for expanded offshore drilling.

But he also joined just two other Republicans last March in voting against a bill to scuttle EPA’s carbon-emissions rules for power plants, and he has also voted against other attacks on federal climate-change programs.

He won support in this year’s elections from the political branch of the Environmental Defense Fund. “It’s very encouraging to see this kind of leadership emerging in the Congress,” Tony Kreindler, EDF Action’s senior director for strategic communications, said of Gibson’s planned resolution.

Elsewhere in his remarks, Gibson both touted his support for expanded drilling and called for more investment in federal green-energy investment, while noting the potential of solar energy as costs decline.

He expressed hope that more right-left cooperation on the environment and energy is possible. “For working-class families and small businesses … we have got to find ways to lower energy costs,” while at the same time “ensuring that we have an inhabitable Earth going forward.”

What We're Following See More »
JUST IN CASE…
White House Adds Five New SCOTUS Candidates
5 hours ago
THE DETAILS

President Trump added five new names to his Supreme Court short list on Friday, should a need arise to appoint a new justice. The list now numbers 25 individuals. They are: 7th Circuit Appeals Judge Amy Coney Barrett, Georgia Supreme Court Justice Britt C. Grant, District of Columbia Circuit Appeals Court Judge Brett M. Kavanaugh, 11th Circuit Appeals Judge Kevin C. Newsom, and Oklahoma Supreme Court Justice Patrick Wyrick.

SAVE THOSE PERTAINING TO EXEC BRANCH
Sessions: DOJ Will No Longer Issue Guidance Documents
5 hours ago
WHY WE CARE

"Attorney General Jeff Sessions announced Friday the Justice Department will revamp its policy for issuing guidance documents. Speaking at the Federalist Society’s annual conference in Washington Friday, Sessions said the Justice Department will no longer issue guidance that 'purports to impose new obligations on any party outside the executive branch.' He said DOJ will review and repeal any documents that could violate this policy." Sessions said: “Too often, rather than going through the long, slow, regulatory process provided in statute, agencies make new rules through guidance documents—by simply sending a letter. This cuts off the public from the regulatory process by skipping the required public hearings and comment periods—and it is simply not what these documents are for. Guidance documents should be used to explain existing law—not to change it.”

Source:
STARTS LEGAL FUND FOR WH STAFF
Trump to Begin Covering His Own Legal Bills
7 hours ago
THE DETAILS
DISCUSSED THE MATTER FOR A NEW BOOK
Steele Says Follow the Money
8 hours ago
STAFF PICKS

"Christopher Steele, the former British intelligence officer who wrote the explosive dossier alleging ties between Donald Trump and Russia," says in a new book by The Guardian's Luke Harding that "Trump's land and hotel deals with Russians needed to be examined. ... Steele did not go into further detail, Harding said, but seemed to be referring to a 2008 home sale to the Russian oligarch Dmitry Rybolovlev. Richard Dearlove, who headed the UK foreign-intelligence unit MI6 between 1999 and 2004, said in April that Trump borrowed money from Russia for his business during the 2008 financial crisis."

Source:
BRITISH PUBLICIST CONNECTED TO TRUMP TOWER MEETING
Goldstone Ready to Meet with Mueller’s Team
9 hours ago
THE LATEST

"The British publicist who helped set up the fateful meeting between Donald Trump Jr. and a group of Russians at Trump Tower in June 2016 is ready to meet with Special Prosecutor Robert Mueller's office, according to several people familiar with the matter. Rob Goldstone has been living in Bangkok, Thailand, but has been communicating with Mueller's office through his lawyer, said a source close to Goldstone."

Source:
×
×

Welcome to National Journal!

You are currently accessing National Journal from IP access. Please login to access this feature. If you have any questions, please contact your Dedicated Advisor.

Login