November 11, 2021

Neguse-Casten Push for Proper Assessment of How Federal Legislation Would Impact National Carbon Emissions

Earlier this year, the pair introduced the Carbon Cost Act, which would encourage establishment of an entity to track the impacts of legislation on national carbon emissions 

Washington D.C.— Today, Congressman Joe Neguse and Congressman Sean Casten, both members of the House Select Committee on the Climate Crisis, called for proper assessment of how Federal legislation would impact national carbon emissions. Earlier this year, the pair, introduced the Carbon Cost Act, which encourages the establishment of a national entity to track the impacts of Federal legislation on national carbon emissions. Similarly the House Select Committee on the Climate Crisis’s recent report suggested expanding the capacity of the Congressional Budget Office to help measure the true impact of climate legislation. The report also recommended that Congress bring back the Office of Technology Assessment, eliminated in the mid-1990s, to offer technical analysis of policy.

Neguse’s Carbon Cost Act, 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.

“Understanding the true impacts of Federal legislation on climate change and our nation’s carbon emissions is critical,” said Congressman Joe Neguse. “As we craft policy that will make transformational impacts for the next decade on our energy systems and our economy, we must ensure that we are doing everything we can to lower carbon emissions, reduce the impacts of the climate crisis and support our communities in the wake of climate-induced weather events. Meeting these goals means having the proper data, assessment and knowledge up front of what our legislation will mean for the planet.”

Casten said: “When you think about all the time we spend measuring the fiscal impact of Federal legislation, it’s absurd that we don’t have a government entity adequately equipped to measure policies' impact on carbon emissions after climate fueled extreme weather events cost taxpayers $99 billion just last year. Reducing emissions at the scale necessary to avert climate catastrophe requires that we have accurate, comparable, consistent data with which to make legislative decisions. With the clock running out, we can no longer afford not to get this right.”

Background: 

The Carbon Cost Act was inspired by legislation introduced in the Colorado General Assembly (HB19-1188) introduced by Sen. Mike Foote and Reps. Emily Sirota and Marc Snyder, 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. That bill was signed into state law by Colorado Governor Jared Polis on June 29, 2019.