Friday, September 18, 2015

No, the 11 Republicans who Put Forth a Handwaving Resolution on Climate Do Not Deserve a Gold Star

Yesterday, Chris Gibson (NY-19) led a group of 10 other House Republicans in putting forth a resolution on "conservative environmental stewardship" that vaguely calls for climate action.

Here is the core part of the resolution:
Resolved, That the House of Representatives commits to working constructively, using our tradition of American ingenuity, innovation, and exceptionalism, to create and support economically viable, and broadly supported private and public solutions to study and address the causes and effects of measured changes to our global and regional climates, including mitigation efforts and efforts to balance human activities that have been found to have an impact.
We don't need resolutions; we need legislation. As such, this resolution doesn't rise beyond handwaving. It also even seems to imply that we still need more research to determine what is causing climate change, which--in context--just seems like a typical deflection. 

It is important to note that Chris Gibson is retiring at the end of his term. He does represent a light blue (D+2) district, though, that Democrats have proven incompetent at winning back.

The 10 colleagues that joined him all represent swingy districts or districts that Democrats should have won and will likely win back. (Partisan voting indexes are included after each name.)

Rep. Carlos Curbelo (FL-26) R+4
Rep. David Reichert (WA-8) R+2
Rep. Robert Dold (IL-10) D+8
Rep. Richard Hanna (NY-22) R+3
Rep. Patrick Meehan (PA-7) EVEN
Rep. Michael Fitzpatrick (PA-8) R+1
Rep. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen (FL-27) R+2
Rep. Ryan Costello (PA-6) R+1
Rep. Elise Stefanik (NY-21) EVEN
Rep. Frank LoBiondo (NJ-2) D+1

Mike Fitzpatrick, like Chris Gibson, will be retiring. David Reichert might be running for governor in Washington.

All of the GOPers in that list, with the exception of Gibson, voted for their party's anti-environment budget back in March. They all voted to increase industry power over federal regulations via the REINS Act in July. All but Gibson voted for fast-track, and all have voted repeatedly for the Keystone XL pipeline. And most of them joined their Republican colleagues in voting against the climate-friendly amendments to the Interior/EPA appropriations bill.

This was timed to coincide with Pope Francis's visit to DC, as the pope is expected to include a call for climate action in his address. Gibson, Curbelo, Meehan, Fitzpatrick, Stefanik, and LoBiondo are all Roman Catholic.

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