Congressional Progressive Caucus co-chairs Reps. Raúl M. Grijalva (D-AZ) and Keith Ellison (D-MN) released the following statement this afternoon on the new U.S. National Climate Assessment.
“The report released today makes it clear the United States is not living within its ecological means. If we refuse to change course, we undermine our economy, our climate and our way of life. The worst effects of global heating can be avoidedonly with swift action. Congress must create jobs by putting a price on carbon and investing in clean energy, modern transportation systems and a twenty-first century energy grid.
“The damage caused by climate change is already disproportionately affecting communities of color and low-income communities. The lessons of Hurricane Katrina have not reached the halls of Congress. We can create jobs and protect our environment at the same time. If we don’t, severe storms and hurricanes will continue to destroy homes, shortages of clean water will become more acute in resource-poor areas, and extreme heat will cause food supply shortages and price spikesfor years to come. Those and other hardships will hit communities of color and low-income communities hardest. Waiting for more disasters to strike will only make the transition to a warmer world more difficult and more expensive.
“Doing what we’ve always done benefits the wealthy few at the expense of everyone else. Congress should take action now – action that we know is in our own best interest. Taxpayer subsidies for oil companies making record profits are not in our best interest. Building the Keystone XL pipeline to allow a Canadian company to export dirty tar sands to China is not in our best interest. Weand the American peoplebelieve we must do better. We stand with the president in supporting strong limits on climate pollution from power plants, rejecting the ‘carbon bomb’ known as tar sands oil and the pipelines that transport it like Keystone XL, and calling on Congress to pass meaningful, job-creating climate legislation.”