July 1, 2020
WASHINGTON, D.C. – Representative Adam Smith (D-Wash.) released the following statement after the House Select Committee on the Climate Crisis Chair Kathy Castor, Speaker Nancy Pelosi, and other members unveiled a comprehensive congressional action plan to solve the climate crisis:
“The climate crisis is an existential threat that requires a comprehensive and drastic mobilization of resources. I applaud the report released by the Select Committee on the Climate Crisis, which provides a comprehensive roadmap to meet this challenge.
“The report not only captures the imperative to drastically reduce greenhouse gas emissions but also reflects the impacts of the climate crisis on every aspect of our society. All sectors of our economy need to be transformed to achieve net-zero carbon emissions by 2050 and it is essential we do so in a smart, equitable, and just manner. From environmental justice and racism to growing economic inequality, the solution to combatting climate change must reverse the underlying injustices that have burdened communities for far too long.
“I am proud that this report prioritizes environmental justice, laying out the need to focus on frontline communities that have long been neglected, underfunded, and living with the harmful environmental, health, and economic consequences of unjust and racist policy decisions. This means that every investment and policy choice we make, from federal funding programs to environmental regulations and enforcement, must be through an environmental justice lens.
“Workers must also be a central component of the clean energy economy. Not only does this report recognize the need to support workers affected by the transition away from fossil fuels, but it includes crucial policy recommendations to ensure quality, good-paying jobs across the economy. Investing in workforce training, strengthening workers’ rights, and establishing high-road labor standards for federal projects are vital to creating better economic outcomes for workers and their families in a green economy.
“More than anything, this report demonstrates the opportunity that comes with combating a problem as deep as climate change. It is an opportunity to finally prioritize frontline communities, give everyone a fair chance to earn a decent living, and address the environmental, health, and economic inequities underlying our society.
“The infrastructure package being considered in the House this week is the kind of necessary investment in green infrastructure and a clean economy envisioned in this report. We need to build on that and continue to work to enact bold, science-based legislation and policies that can put us on a path to addressing this crisis.”