May 20, 2021

Following Colorado’s Lead, Congressman Neguse Unveils Legislative Package to Ensure Government Accountability on Climate Action

Washington, D.C.—Today, Congressman Joe Neguse unveiled a legislative package which would ensure government accountability on climate action. The Green Government Resolution would follow the local leadership of 14 cities and counties across Colorado, and put the U.S. Capitol Complex in line with Washington D.C.’s local renewable electricity goals. The Carbon Cost Act, also unveiled today, model’s Colorado’s legislation to ensure that future legislative proposals from Congress include carbon scoring to better understand the climate impacts. 

“Climate change is an existential threat, one that has impacted our Colorado communities through devastating wildfires, intense floods and other climate-related weather events,” said Congressman Joe Neguse. “It’s time we ensure government accountability in climate action as we work to restore our communities and tackle this crisis. The legislative package we are unveiling today follows the lead of Colorado, including multiple cities and counties who have stepped up to take bold steps to tackle the climate crisis. Our plan would ensure that leaders in Washington are considering the impacts of climate change at the U.S. Capitol and in the bills we are passing into law.” 

“Breckenridge has long been at the forefront of environmental and climate action. But as a small mountain community, our efforts can only go so far. In order to enact real change, we need to help our lawmakers push for stronger national clean energy standards, consider external costs like the cost of carbon, and lead by example by committing federal facilities to these goals,” said Breckenridge Mayor Eric Mamula. “We are excited that Congressman Neguse shares our climate goals, and appreciate his exemplary leadership.” 

“Fort Collins’ commitment to climate action reflects not only our values, but our actions. The City of Fort Collins has set the tone with one of the most aggressive community climate action goals, working to reduce emissions 80% below 2005 levels by 2030 and achieve carbon neutrality by 2050,” said Fort Collins Mayor Wade Troxell. “Being grounded in operational plans, we know these outcomes make financial, economic, social and environmental sense for our community. We can appreciate that true progress on climate action requires action at all levels of government and laws at the federal level need to enable a national climate economy. I commend Congressman Neguse for listening and representing the voice of Fort Collins by bringing our bold leadership on our climate future to Washington D.C. Congressman Neguse is working to align our energy future with the climate crisis imperative like Fort Collins has done, starting now for the benefit of future generations.”

“Congressman Neguse understands that climate change is an existential threat to our ecosystem — which means every public policy decision must work to combat this problem. Here in Colorado, we came up with a straightforward way to make sure we start evaluating the climate impact of legislation,” said Colorado State Representative Emily Sirota. “Congressman Neguse's Carbon Cost Act is designed to make this the standard in Congress — as it must be. Before any legislation passes, lawmakers and the public need to know whether it will help or harm this must-win battle to reduce carbon emissions and save our planet.”

On January 18, 2019, Washington D.C. Mayor Muriel Bowser signed the Clean Energy DC Omnibus Amendment Act, which set a mandate of a 100% renewable electricity in DC by the year 2032. The Green Government resolution, unveiled today by Congressman Neguse, considers the findings of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) and the energy plan set by Washington D.C. and recommends the Capitol complex align with D.C.’s goal to reach 100% renewable electricity by 2032. The Green Government resolution expresses Congress’s responsibility to lead by example, following the initiative of communities, cities and states across the nation, in combating the climate crisis.

The Carbon Cost Act, also unveiled today, would direct the Government Accountability Office (GAO) and the National Academies of Science (NAS) to complete recommendations to Congress for establishing an entity responsible for analyzing how proposed Federal legislation is likely to impact the nation’s carbon emissions. The Carbon Cost Act was inspired by legislation introduced in the Colorado General Assembly (HB19-1188) and signed into state law by Colorado Governor Jared Polis on June 29, 2019, which directed state legislative council staff to establish greenhouse gas emissions reports that use available data to assess whether a legislative measure is likely to directly cause a net increase or decrease in greenhouse gas pollution in the 10-year period following its enactment. 

The bills are endorsed by the League of Conservation Voters, Earthjustice and the Sierra Club. 

See bill text for the Green Government Resolution here. See bill text for the Carbon Cost Act here.