by Barrett Sundberg
Since its climate resolution last year, WPNA has kept an eye on national legislation related to climate, to keep its pledge of seeking positive action from legislators and keeping neighbors informed about key items that individuals can ask for. Under a Biden administration, what climate moves are likely to occur, and what legislation if any is lined up?
According to Senators Lisa Murkowski (R-AL), chair of the Senate Energy Committee, and Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI), member of the Senate Climate Solutions Caucus, the likeliest moves are executive orders such as rescinding orders by President Trump that weakened regulations on polluters, reduced efficiency standards for automobiles and appliances, and opened federal lands to oil and gas extraction. Another likely presidential option is to rejoin the Paris Agreement on Climate Change. Based on an article in Greentech Media which interviewed both Senators, two key avenues of legislation are also possible even if Republicans do, as expected, control the Senate 2021-2022.
Bipartisan support already exists, Murkowski says, for increased R&D spending to develop better energy technology to balance the electrical grid as it scales up renewables use. Similar support is also there for investing in transmission capacity that is needed to bring wind and solar into existing grids. These are relatively “realistic” asks that neighbors can urge our Senators and Congressman to support. The Climate Committee plans to advocate for these directly, but additional messages from each neighbor increase the impact.
Senator John Cornyn, 972-239-1310, https://www.cornyn.senate.gov/node/5853
Senator Ted Cruz, 512-916-5834, https://www.cruz.senate.gov/?p=form&id=16
Representative Roger Williams, 512-473-8910, https://williams.house.gov/contact/email-me