House Speaker Nancy Pelosi will extend the House's Select Committee on the Climate Crisis into the next Congress, she announced Monday.
The committee was created after Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-N.Y.) and other progressive lawmakers had demanded a committee as part of the Green New Deal that could write legislation to deal with the climate crisis.
That idea was not popular with the chairs of the various existing committees who believe they already have the ability and power to write needed laws.
But Pelosi created a select committee, nevertheless, with a mandate to study and recommend a course of action, even if it lacked any power.
The committee did come up with a framework, but Pelosi clearly believes it needs to continue working.
“The climate crisis is the existential threat of our time, jeopardizing our public health, our economy, our national security and the whole of God’s creation,” said Pelosi in a statement.
Rep. Kathy Castor (D-Fla.) will continue to serve as chair of the select committee.
“Over the past two years, our Select Committee on the Climate Crisis brought together a historic coalition of scientists, union leaders, faith advocates, farmers, tribal leaders, business leaders and environmental justice champions to deliver a comprehensive, just and actionable plan for Congress to act on climate,” Castor said.
“The select committee’s ‘Solving the Climate Crisis’ report is the most detailed, sweeping climate plan in American history, laying a science-based foundation that rebuilds our economy through clean energy jobs, ensures clean air and keeps America competitive in the 21st century," Castor said.
She added that the committee expected to work with the incoming Biden administration to begin turning some of those ideas into policy.