Dems introduce bill to create climate change bond program

Dems introduce bill to create climate change bond program
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Congressional Democrats have reintroduced a bill to create a climate change adaptation fund supported by a new federal bond program. 

The bill, from Sen. Dick DurbinRichard (Dick) Joseph DurbinDemocrats turn on Al Franken Minnesota's largest newspaper calls on Franken to resign Democratic senator predicts Franken will resign Thursday MORE (D-Ill.) and Rep. Ted Deutch (D-Fla.) would create a Commerce Department fund that states and cities could tap to finance projects preparing their areas for the impacts of climate change.

The fund would be supported by a new, annual $200 million federal bond program specifically designed to finance the adaptation work. 

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The bill is similar to legislation introduced in the Senate last session, when supporters compared the bond program to the war bonds sold by the government during the World Wars.

Last year’s bill went nowhere, and it is unlikely this year’s version will gain traction in the GOP-controlled Congress. 

But the bill’s supporters said they’re proposing just one way to begin dealing with climate change, which is already showings its impact in some parts of the country.

"Americans are seeing the impact of climate change everywhere, from flooding coastlines and year-round forest fires, to extreme droughts and food shortages,” Durbin said in a statement, adding that the bill’s bond program would “give Americans an opportunity to help communities prepare for and deal with the damaging effects of climate change."

“With rising tides and sunny-day flooding, my constituents in South Florida are all too aware of the urgent need to respond to climate change,” Deutch said in a Tuesday statement. 

“There’s no time to waste. We need to jumpstart federal investments into projects that will help build resilient communities around the country that are prepared to meet the real world challenges.”

The EPA announced earlier this month that it is shutting down a program that helps states and localities adapt to the effects of climate change and reassigning the program’s staffers.