Thursday, March 28, 2019

Huffman Introduces Bills to Keep U.S. in Paris Agreement, Ban Offshore Drilling

Posted By on Thu, Mar 28, 2019 at 9:31 AM

click to enlarge Jared Huffman. - CONGRESS
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It’s been a busy week for North Coast Congressman Jared Huffman, who joined Democrat colleagues this week in introducing two major pieces of environmental legislation.

On Tuesday, Huffman, a member of the House Select Committee on Climate Crisis, joined colleagues in introducing legislation that would keep the United States in the Paris Climate Agreement and develop a plan for meeting the nation’s commitment to reduce emissions. Then Wednesday, Huffman and freshman Representative Joe Cunningham (D-South Caroline) introduced a bill that would permanently ban oil and gas leasing off the Pacific and Atlantic coasts.

In a statement supporting House Resolution 9, the Climate Action Now Act, Huffman said his constituents know the impacts of climate change are “all too real and all too urgent.”

“I have communities in my district who are still rebuilding from devastating wildfires, and others are reeling from historic floods this year, made worse by a changing climate,” Huffman said in the statement. ““The President has refused to lead on climate change, so Congress must act. Staying in the Paris climate agreement is critical, and it’s just the starting point in our work to address the greatest moral, economic, and environmental imperative of our time.”

Meanwhile, the Coastal and Marine Economies Protection Act introduced Wednesday, which builds on the West Coast Ocean Protection Act that Huffman had previously introduced, has widespread public support, Huffman said.

“The Trump administration’s drill-everywhere plan has run into a wave of public opposition. Americans from coast to coast have made it very clear that they do not want to see more oil rigs in their oceans,”  said Huffman, who is chair of the Subcommittee on Water, Oceans, and Wildlife. “The Coastal and Marine Economies Protection Act will halt Trump’s oil and gas drilling spree in its tracks, protecting coastal communities and fragile ecosystems from environmental catastrophe. In California, we know that our coastal economies would be placed at unacceptable risk by offshore oil and gas drilling, which threatens the tourism, recreation, and fishing industries. I’m glad to work together with Joe Cunningham on this ongoing effort to block offshore drilling on the Atlantic and Pacific coasts, and to shield both of our coastlines from dangerous exploitation.”

See the full press releases from Huffman’s office copied below.

Rep. Huffman, House Democrats Introduce
H.R. 9, New Legislation to Keep the U.S. in the Paris Climate Agreement

Washington, D.C.- Today, Congressman Jared Huffman (D-San Rafael) joined Select Committee on the Climate Crisis Chair Kathy Castor (FL-14) and other leading lawmakers in introducing H.R. 9, the Climate Action Now Act, to require the Trump administration to remain in the Paris climate agreement and to develop a serious plan for how the United States will meet its commitment to reduce pollution.

“Californians know that the impacts of climate change are all too real, and all too urgent. I have communities in my district who are still rebuilding from devastating wildfires, and others are reeling from historic floods this year, made worse by a changing climate,” said Rep. Huffman. “The President has refused to lead on climate change, so Congress must act. Staying in the Paris climate agreement is critical, and it’s just the starting point in our work to address the greatest moral, economic, and environmental imperative of our time.”

Rep. Huffman, a leading voice on climate and environmental issues and a member of the Select Committee on the Climate Crisis, has helped to lead congressional efforts to reassert the American commitment to combating climate change. Last month, he introduced the bipartisan “Still-In Resolution,” a House Concurrent Resolution affirming Congress’ intent to remain in the Paris agreement. That legislation now has nearly seventy bipartisan cosponsors.
On December 12, 2015, nearly 200 countries, including the United States, China, India and the European Union, signed the landmark Paris agreement to combat climate change. The central aim of the agreement was for the nations of the world to work together to keep the global temperature rise to well below 2 degrees Celsius (3.6 °F) and to attempt to limit the temperature increase even further to 1.5 degrees Celsius (2.7 °F).

On June 1, 2017, President Trump announced his intention to withdraw the United States from the Paris Agreement – making our country the only one to reject the global pact.

Despite the President’s unilateral declaration withdrawing the United States from the Paris Agreement and his refusal to take the threat of the climate crisis seriously, the earliest the United States can legally withdraw from the agreement is November 2020.

The Climate Action Now Act would prohibit any federal funds from being used to take any action to advance the withdrawal of the U.S. from the landmark Paris Agreement.  It also calls on the President to develop and make public a plan for how the United States will meet its national commitment to reduce carbon pollution. The bill number of “H.R. 9” is reserved foruse by the Speaker of the House, indicating the high priority placed on the legislation.

Text of the Climate Action Now Act can be found here.

Reps. Huffman, Cunningham Introduce Bipartisan Bicoastal Offshore Drilling Ban
The Coastal and Marine Economies Protection Act would permanently ban oil and gas leasing off the coasts of the Pacific and Atlantic

Washington, D.C.- Congressman Jared Huffman (D-San Rafael) joined freshman Rep. Joe Cunningham (D-SC) in introducing the Coastal and Marine Economies Protection Act today, new bipartisan legislation to permanently ban oil and gas leasing off both the Pacific and Atlantic coasts that builds on Huffman’s earlier West Coast Ocean Protection Act. The bill will be the subject of a hearing next week at the Natural Resources Subcommittee on Energy and Mineral Resources.

“The Trump administration’s drill-everywhere plan has run into a wave of public opposition. Americans from coast to coast have made it very clear that they do not want to see more oil rigs in their oceans,” said Rep. Jared Huffman, Chair of the Subcommittee on Water, Oceans, and Wildlife. “The Coastal and Marine Economies Protection Act will halt Trump’s oil and gas drilling spree in its tracks, protecting coastal communities and fragile ecosystems from environmental catastrophe. In California, we know that our coastal economies would be placed at unacceptable risk by offshore oil and gas drilling, which threatens the tourism, recreation, and fishing industries. I’m glad to work together with Joe Cunningham on this ongoing effort to block offshore drilling on the Atlantic and Pacific coasts, and to shield both of our coastlines from dangerous exploitation.”

The bipartisan coastal protection legislation introduced today would prohibit any oil and gas leasing in the Interior Department’s Atlantic or Pacific planning areas. The new bill builds on Huffman’s West Coast Ocean Protection Act, which prohibits oil and gas leasing off the coast of California, Oregon, and Washington, and on Cunningham’s Coastal Economies Protection Act that similarly blocked offshore drilling in the eastern U.S. The standalone Huffman bill has attracted the support of 28 Democratic cosponsors from Pacific states.

“I’ve been clear from the very beginning that our beaches, businesses, and way of life should not be for sale. South Carolinians want nothing to do with offshore drilling and the devastating threat it poses to our vibrant natural resources,” said Rep. Joe Cunningham (D-SC). “I am proud to have the support of a bipartisan group of lawmakers, advocates, and organizations up and down South Carolina and across both the Atlantic and Pacific coastlines. It’s an honor to have the opportunity to lead this bipartisan bill across the finish line to ban offshore drilling off our coast once and for all.”

“The administration is trying to further oil and gas interests at an alarming rate, including major expansions of offshore drilling in the Pacific and Atlantic oceans. This is nothing more than a hand-out to the oil and gas industries and runs counter to health, safety, and environmental safeguards we know must be in place to protect our coastlines. These actions also run counter to the will of the citizens in these coastal communities. I am proud to join with my colleagues in making it perfectly clear to this Administration – there will be no new drilling off our coasts,” said Rep. Alan Lowenthal (D-CA), Chair of the Subcommittee on Energy and Mineral Resources.

“This smart measure responds to communities and leaders all along our Atlantic and Pacific coasts who strongly oppose offshore drilling.  It would protect those coastal waters and wildlife from the risks of another BP-style disaster, as well as industrial ruin and ongoing harm. This bill deserves the support of everyone who cares about healthy oceans, marine life, our coastal economies and all they support”, said Alexandra Adams, Legislative Director, Nature Program, Natural Resources Defense Council.

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