June 30, 2020

Congressman Joe Neguse Secures Colorado Climate Action Priorities in Congressional Climate Report

Neguse secured essential Colorado climate priorities including conservation of public lands, expansion of clean energy, investments in climate science and proposals for wildfire prevention and climate resiliency

Washington D.C.— Congressman Joe Neguse, the only member of the Select Committee on the Climate Crisis from the Rocky Mountain West and the youngest, announced today that he has secured several key Colorado climate action priorities in the Committee’s official congressional climate action report, which was released by the Committee and Speaker Pelosi to the American public earlier today. Of all Committee members, Congressman Neguse’s proposals are mentioned the most times in the report. 

View remarks from Congressman Neguse at a press conference unveiling the report here.  Read the report here.

Last summer, Congressman Neguse secured Colorado as the location for the Committee’s first and only official field hearing, where Committee members heard directly from Coloradans about priorities they wanted incorporated in the report. The Committee visited federal labs throughout the 2nd district in Golden, Boulder, and Superior, spoke with federal scientists and heard testimony from Governor Jared Polis, Fort Collins Mayor Wade Troxell and Boulder Mayor Suzanne Jones. 

“Since my appointment to the House Select Committee on the Climate Crisis last year, I have been hard at work hearing from Coloradans, from farmers, scientists and local leaders across Colorado and crafting proposals inspired by our communities to address the existential threat of climate change,” said Congressman Joe Neguse. “I am incredibly proud of how many Colorado ideas have been incorporated into the Committee’s national strategy for climate action, including my proposals to expand zero-emission vehicles and clean energy, revitalize our nation’s conservation corps, invest in regenerative agriculture research, safeguard scientific integrity, modernize our federal labs and protect the beautiful outdoor spaces Coloradans enjoy for generations to come. In Colorado, we feel the impacts of climate change in a visceral way and we have continued to meet this crisis with action, that’s the Colorado climate way. Now, the voice of Coloradans, their ideas, actions and ingenuity will be ingrained in a new national strategy for climate action that is essential for the Congress and the nation to take up.” 

“Colorado is a leader on climate action and we’re thrilled to see so many Colorado-based ideas in this critical report.  Our state is no stranger to the effects of climate change or the many health and economic benefits that come with leading the transition to renewable energy, or protecting our vast great outdoors,” said Governor Jared Polis. “We must continue working to ensure we are protecting the Colorado way of life for generations to come. I applaud the work of Congressman Neguse and so many local leaders in Colorado who are stepping up. This report will build on the important steps we’ve taken to move the needle on climate change over the last 18 months.”

Neguse’s Colorado Climate Way priorities incorporated into the final report recommendations include: 

  • Conservation of public lands through the Colorado Outdoor Recreation and Economy Act, or the CORE Actlegislation led by Congressman Neguse which passed the U.S. House in October to preserve 400,000 acres of public lands across Colorado, his legislation— the 21st Century Conservation Corps for Our Health and Jobs Act— to revitalize the nation’s conservation corps and the 30 by 30 for Nature resolution to commit to conserving 30 percent of all U.S. lands and oceans by 2030. 
  • Investments in federal climate science, through the Federal Labs Modernization Act and Stop Climate Censorship Act, both bills introduced by Congressman Joe Neguse in conjunction with federal labs in the 2nddistrict to equip federal climate scientists and scientific integrity; 
  • Expansion of clean energy and transportation through the Zero Emission Vehicles Act,  the Solar EDGE Act, and the Growing Renewable Energy and Efficiency Now (GREEN) Act, bills led and co-sponsored by Congressman Joe Neguse to transition to 50% zero emission vehicles by 2030 and provide historic tax benefits for renewable energy and efficiency projects; 
  • Investments in regenerative agriculture research through the Sustainable Agriculture Research Act and Study on Improving Our Lands Act, a bipartisan set of bills introduced by Congressman Neguse to further investigate carbon sequestration methods;
  • Restoration of our forests and support for wildfire suppression, through the 21st Century Conservation Corps for Our Health and Jobs Act, legislation introduced by Congressman Neguse to make major investments in forest health, wildfire mitigation, fire science and equip firefighters with PPE, testing and safety standards amidst the COVID-19 pandemic;
  • Building communities more resilient to the impacts of the climate crisis, through the Climate Resilient Communities Actlegislation led by Congressman Neguse to update FEMA’s standards to ensure communities have flexibility and support to rebuild resiliently after climate-related disasters; and 
  • Assessment of climate change national security threats through the Climate Readiness Act, legislation from Congressman Joe Neguse. 

Proposals by Congressman Neguse to transition the Capitol Complex to 100% renewable electricity, end plastic bottle use in Committee rooms, study the impacts of climate change on the transmission of future viruses and expand transparency in PPE supply chains are also highlighted in the report. 

Read more about the Colorado Climate Way here.

“Boulder residents and businesses, as well as communities across the US, will benefit from the climate strategies that Congressman Neguse has helped form in these recommendations,” said Boulder Mayor Sam Weaver. “Boulder has long been a champion of innovative and impactful climate action, and we are proud to see the contributions of our community members, scientists, and Open Space farmers in the report.”

“Fort Collins continues to work towards becoming a more climate-resilient community through actions taken as part of the Climate Action Plan,” said Fort Collins Mayor Wade Troxell. “We continue to lead through pragmatic, comprehensive planning that takes the systems level view and seeks equitable outcomes for all.”

“Colorado can and must be a leader to show the nation and the world how to rebuild better,” said Kelly Nordini, Executive Director of Conservation Colorado. “Studies show that civil societies and organizations can come out better at the end of a crisis if they use the opportunity to innovate and rebuild differently. Thanks to leaders like Congressman Neguse, we are poised to emerge from this crisis stronger, building an economy based on clean energy and outdoor recreation for the benefit of each and every one of us.” 

“Boulder-based Protect Our Winters applauds Congressman Neguse's tireless efforts on climate in our home state of Colorado,” said Lindsay Bourgoine, Director of Policy & Advocacy for Protect Our Winters. “We moved to Colorado given the immense outdoor recreation opportunities and the climate leadership of our local delegation– specifically Congressman Neguse. We are grateful to be represented in Congress by a strong leader who is actively addressing how climate change will impact the outdoor places we love by putting forth tangible proposals like the CORE Act, especially when outdoor recreation is such a critical economic driver.”

“We are so appreciative of the amazing work Representative Neguse is doing for communities in Colorado,” said Anna Peterson, Executive Director of The Mountain Pact an organization that works with local elected officials in the west and with over 30 mountain communities across Colorado. “From sustained climate action to work on protecting our public lands through legislation like the CORE Act and leading on Land and Water Conservation Funding, he is a true leader who always walks the walk in all areas of conservation. The mountain communities in Colorado are, and will continue to be, stronger and more economically sustainable because of the consistent work of Representative Neguse.”

“We must urgently transition our public lands to be part of the solution to the climate and nature crises and this report lays out a comprehensive approach.  As of now, energy production on our public lands is responsible for nearly a quarter of the nation’s climate emissions, but this plan would put our nation on a path to net zero climate pollution while ensuring that 30% of lands are protected over the next decade,” said Jim Ramey, Colorado State Director for The Wilderness Society. “Here in Colorado, passing the CORE Act, investing in maintenance and infrastructure projects, and creating a modern-day 21st Century Civilian Conservation Corps are key ways our public lands can support our economic recovery and benefit future generations. Coloradans are fortunate for Rep. Neguse's efforts to ensure these priorities were included in this plan.”

“The Select Committee on the Climate Crisis has recognized the critical role of the ocean to fight climate change,” said Vicki Nichols Goldstein, Executive Director of the Inland Ocean Coalition. “The threats climate change poses are not restricted to our coasts, but rather affect us all, including our inland communities. We are hopeful that these recommendations usher in strong and effective policies to ensure a better future for us and for our ocean.”