The Skywriter

Rep. Schrader's baffling embrace of the Dirty Air Acts

23
Apr

Rep. Schrader's baffling embrace of the Dirty Air Acts

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By Jamie Hogue, Oregon Field Representative for Climate Solutions. -- Luis

Last Friday we received some very bad news.

After all of our efforts to persuade Congressman Kurt Schrader (D-Salem) to support a healthy climate -- including our most recent “Storm” event where we delivered an amazing care package -- Congressman Schrader, signed onto the “Skelton Resolution.” For those who don’t know about the Skelton Resolution, it’s one of the “Dirty Air Acts,” a set of bills that would take away the EPA’s ability to regulate carbon.

The news was extremely disappointing and to be honest, baffling. Why would Congressman Schrader, someone I respect and admire a great deal, someone who understands the real threat of climate change as well as the benefits of a clean energy economy, why would he co-sponsor a bill that is so bad?

According to his staff, it’s apparently a procedural rather than a political decision. In his opinion Congress should create climate change legislation rather than trying to regulate carbon emission under the Clean Air Act.

Forget for a moment, that the Supreme Court has explicitly said the Clean Air Act needs to be used to fight climate change. Forget the fact that voting to get rid of one of the best tools we currently have to address climate change is absolute madness. And forget for a moment, the absolute horrible signal that his “procedural” sponsorship sends to the Senate where a handful of brave progressives are fighting to keep the Clean Air Act intact.

If this is Congressman Schrader’s stance, I feel like he needs to become a climate change champion, and urge his colleagues to vote for the strongest climate change bill possible. Sure, he’s voted the right way on a handful of issues. But where has he been between the votes when he could have been lobbying his colleagues and pushing this issue more strongly with the public? If he truly feels as strongly as he claims about congressional legislation, those are the kind of actions he needs to be taking.

Will this make up for his co-sponsorship of such an awful bill? No, but it will help to start to restore my faith in him.

Oh, and Congressman, if you’re reading this, we’d like our care package back.

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