For Immediate Release: November 17, 2015
Ahead of Paris Summit, U.S. Senate Votes for Extreme Anti-Climate Measure
Binding Resolution Nullifies Clean Power Plan, Guts Clean Air Act
Statement from Peter Iwanowicz, executive director of Environmental Advocates of New York
“The vote Congress took in June to stall the Clean Power Plan pales in comparison to the extreme and out of touch resolution (S.J. Res. 24) just passed by the U.S. Senate – a measure the House of Representatives will soon take up. This binding resolution nullifies the Clean Power Plan and makes it illegal for the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to move ahead with any carbon reduction plan for power plants until Congress directs them to.
Given how aggressively anti-science this Congress is, it’s not likely that would happen anytime soon.
World leaders are preparing to convene in Paris next month to forge commitments for global climate action. For the U.S. Congress, weeks in advance, to not only reject science, but the reality of the impacts that climate change has on communities worldwide, casts our country in a poor light.
This is not debatable: dirty air makes kids and seniors sick. The changing climate is undermining global security, will give rise to conflicts over natural resources, and harm agriculture and our food systems. Increasingly severe and unpredictable weather patterns have already cost New York dozens of lives and billions of dollars in recent years.
Environmental Advocates of New York applauds U.S. Senators Charles Schumer and Kirsten Gillibrand for their opposition. It will be telling to see how New York’s own members of Congress vote. In June, Rep. Chris Gibson was the sole New York Republican to take a stand. Since then, Reps. Elise Stefanik (R-Willsboro), Richard Hanna (R-Barneveld), and Tom Reed (R-Corning) have joined Gibson in sponsoring a non-binding resolution which states that climate change is real and requires action. We will know when the House votes on H.J. Res. 71 and H.J. Res. 72. whether Reps. Stefanik, Hanna and Reed mean what they say, or if they are attempting to use Rep. Gibson’s resolution as political cover. We urge them to side with their constituents and oppose efforts to roll back the clock on climate action.”