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Inside the Greenhouse

July 2019

By Emily Wirzba, July 5, 2019

Inside the Greenhouse is a monthly newsletter about FCNL’s environmental work, ways to engage members of Congress, and stories that impact our work.

Legislators Relaunch Climate Solutions Caucus

The Climate Solutions Caucus was officially relaunched in the new Congress! The two co-chairs, Rep. Ted Deutch (FL-22) and Rep. Francis Rooney (FL-19), hosted the caucus’s first members meeting on June 20.

The Climate Solutions Caucus is a bipartisan group of legislators who regularly meet to advance climate solutions. This caucus draws from all political ideologies. It fosters conversation and action across the aisle to address the impacts, causes, and challenges of climate change.

There are currently 63 caucus members. Check to see if your representative is already in the Climate Solutions Caucus. If not, ask them to join!

Faith Leaders Condemn Clean Power Plan Replacement

FCNL joined 13 organizations expressing disappointment in the Environmental Protection Agency’s short-sighted decision to replace the Clean Power Plan (CPP) with the Affordable Clean Energy (ACE) Rule.

The Clean Power Plan would have reduced emissions from electricity generation by 32 percent below 2005 levels by 2030. It was the strongest domestic climate policy to date. When the EPA announced its intent in October 2018 to replace the CPP with the ACE rule, FCNL strongly opposed this decision.

The ACE rule will threaten public health, risk lives, and worsen climate change. FCNL continues to advocate for ambitious solutions to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and protect vulnerable communities from the devastating impacts of air pollution and climate change.

Coal Power Plant Environment

Strong House Appropriations Bills Advance FCNL’s Climate Priorities

The House passed several spending bills for fiscal year 2020 in June. Overall, we saw robust and increased funding for environmental and climate programs. The proposals:

  • Preserved funding for the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) and Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC).
  • Prevented the use of funds to withdraw the U.S. from the Paris Climate Agreement.
  • Demonstrated bipartisan support for limiting offshore drilling, protecting the social cost of carbon (a metric used to quantify the benefits of addressing climate change), and protecting Obama-era regulations on methane and other greenhouse gas emissions.

FCNL was one of 13 organizations that sent a letter to the House urging robust funding for these programs. We now turn our attention to the Senate, to ensure we see similar funding levels.

There are currently 63 members of the Climate Solutions Caucus.

News and Updates

States Are Acting on Climate Change
Brad Plumer reports that, “states are starting to pursue vastly different policies on climate change with the potential to cement an economic and social divide for years to come..”

The U.S. Stands Apart from G20 on Climate
From Osaka, Japan, leaders from the Group of 20 renewed their vow to curb climate change on. The United States once again stood apart and at odds with the rest of the world.

Action Alert: Support the Climate Solutions Caucus
Urge your member of Congress to join the Climate Solutions Caucus, with a partner from across the political aisle.

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Emily Wirzba

  • Legislative Manager, Sustainable Energy and Environment

Emily Wirzba leads FCNL’s lobbying work to achieve bipartisan recognition of climate change and action in Congress. Emily meets with members of Congress and their staff to promote FCNL's environmental priorities. She also works closely with FCNL's network across the country to organize constituents to lobby, write, and advocate for bipartisan environmental action in Congress. She currently serves as co-chair of the Washington Interreligious Staff Community's Energy and Ecology Working Group.