On the heels of a federal report finding that climate change has had an outsize impact on New England, Congresswoman Chellie Pingree (D-Maine) today announced her support for The Green New Deal, a legislative blueprint proposed by Congresswoman-elect Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-New York) to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and transition the nation to renewable energy sources within ten years. Pingree is the 15th House lawmaker to back Ocasio-Cortez’s Green New Deal resolution.
“We don’t need another report to tell us climate change is a threat to our health, environment and economy. We must take urgent action to end our nation’s reliance on fossil fuels and stop the damage greenhouse gases have done to our way of life. The Green New Deal is an important blueprint for us to fight this crisis on all fronts. Congress should not leave any thoughtful climate change solution unexplored,” said Congresswoman Pingree.
The Green New Deal is an economic stimulus package aimed at mitigating climate change. It seeks to create green jobs by shifting the nation’s energy use to fossil fuel alternatives within ten years of its passage. The resolution would also create a select House committee to focus exclusively on climate change solutions. House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi has also called for a select committee on climate change, which Pingree also supports.
“Look no further than Maine’s lobster industry to see the looming economic crisis facing our state due to rapidly warming waters. Meanwhile rates of asthma and tick-borne illness in Maine have dramatically spiked because of fossil fuel emissions and rising temperatures,” said Pingree. “I see the crisis of climate change every day in my state and believe a new committee dedicated exclusively to this crisis can support the long-standing work of other House committees and help to fast-track solutions.”
Last Friday, 13 federal agencies released a long-awaited report on climate change which found that the Northeast is warming faster than the rest of the nation and rising temperatures in the Gulf of Maine will result in devastating economic consequences. Last month, the United Nation’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) recommended greenhouse gases be slashed by almost half by 2030 to avoid catastrophic effects of climate change.
For the past six years, Pingree has served on the House Appropriations Subcommittee on Interior and the Environment. In her committee role, she has been an unrelenting advocate for renewable energy and legislative strategies to stop climate change. With Democrats in control, Pingree expects her committee will aggressively push back on the Trump administration’s climate change denials and roll backs of vital environmental protections. It will also be the key committee to support funding for a green jobs agenda.
As a longtime organic farmer and member of the House Appropriations Subcommittee on Agriculture, Pingree has also worked to address climate change’s impact on the rising cost of food production and distribution.
Read Pingree’s recent op-ed, “Congress must face the unassailable reality of climate change” published in the Portland Press Herald.