Inside the Greenhouse is a monthly newsletter about FCNL’s environmental work, ways to engage members of Congress, and stories that impact our work.
Disasters Worsened by Climate Change Underscore Need for Legislation
August and September saw multiple disasters worsened by climate change hit the United States. Hurricane Laura, one of the strongest storms to ever hit the country, pummeled the Gulf Coast. Out West, massive wildfires raged, burning entire towns, forcing mass evacuations, and cloaking the region in hazardous smoke. Across the Southwest, record-breaking heat shattered records.
These disasters make it clear: Climate change is here, and it is placing more and more people in jeopardy. In the face of the climate crisis, ask candidates if they will support laws that place a price on carbon.
Clean Economy Jobs and Innovation Act passes the House
On Sept. 24, the House passed the Clean Economy Jobs and Innovation Act (HR. 4447) despite a veto threat by the White House. The nearly 900-page package passed by a 220-185 vote, which fell largely on party lines. The bill could serve as the basis for future clean energy negotiations with the Senate, if the American Energy Innovation Act (AEIA) (S. 2657) passes that chamber.
FCNL is encouraged by the passage of the Clean Economy and Innovation Act. The bill supports investments in clean energy innovation programs and authorizes federal funding for a new environmental justice program in the Environmental Protection Agency to address climate impacts on disenfranchised communities.
In 2020, there are 14 senators in the Climate Solutions Caucus
News and Updates
Business Roundtable Endorses “Market-based Mechanism” to Address Climate Change
The Business Roundtable, which includes chief executives from dozens of the country’s largest companies, highlighted their support this month for a “market-based mechanism” to address climate change. The roundtable’s chairman, Doug McMillon, CEO of Walmart, said that “climate change is one of the greatest challenges facing the planet today, and we believe businesses are an essential part of the solution.”
HFC Amendment for American Energy Innovation Act
The American Energy Innovation Act (AEIA) (S. 2657) received a boost this month when lawmakers reached a compromise on an amendment that would phase down the use of hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs), a powerful greenhouse gas. A comprehensive energy bill, the AEIA includes measures on renewable energy, power grid upgrades, workforce development, and energy efficiency. It is sponsored by Sens. Lisa Murkowski (AK) and Joe Manchin (WV).
Air Pollution Makes COVID-19 More Deadly, Research Shows
A new study by ProPublica and the State University of New York College of Environmental Science and Forestry has found a strong correlation between levels of hazardous air pollutants and the death rate from COVID-19. Black and Brown and low-income families are more likely to be exposed to high levels of air pollutants in their communities.
President Trump Bans Offshore Oil and Wind Energy
President Trump placed a moratorium on offshore oil and gas drilling off the coast of Florida, Georgia, South Carolina, and North Carolina. This move extended a ban on all new offshore leases until 2032. This moratorium also bans new leases for renewable energy, like offshore wind projects, obstructing tens of thousands of potential jobs in future wind development off of the Carolinas.
We welcomed Clarence Edwards to FCNL this month as the new legislative director for sustainable energy and environment. He brings extensive experience in domestic and international government relations, issue advocacy, and strategic communications.
Clarence and I hosted FCNL’s regular Call to Conscience on Climate Disruption earlier this month to share updates on national climate legislation. We were inspired by the stories of climate activism around the country that our constituents shared!