Energy & Environment

GOP rep will ‘probably’ support measure to back Paris climate pact

Greg Nash

A GOP lawmaker says he would likely back a Democratic-drafted resolution to show support for the Paris climate change agreement.

Rep. Brian Fitzpatrick (Pa.) told The Hill Thursday that he had discussed the measure with its lead sponsor, Rep. Jared Huffman (D-Calif.), and, pending the exact wording of it, he’s probably on board.

“I’m inclined to,” he said. “Obviously I think it was a mistake to pull out. So if it’s along those lines, I probably would.”

{mosads}“If it’s basically to reverse course on what the administration did, I would support that,” he continued.

Huffman has not yet released the wording of the resolution, so Fitzpatrick said he wants to see that before committing to it.

Fitzpatrick, a centrist in multiple policy areas, has been one of the most outspoken Republicans on climate change and his belief that government policies are needed to fight it.

He joined then-Rep. Carlos Curbelo (R-Fla.) last year as one of the original sponsors of the Modernizing America with Rebuilding to Kick-start the Economy of the Twenty-first Century with a Historic Infrastructure-Centered Expansion, or MARKET CHOICE, Act, which would put a tax on carbon dioxide emissions and use the money for infrastructure improvements.

Fitzpatrick has also been a vocal critic of President Trump’s climate policies.

Although Trump announced in 2017 he was pulling the United States out of the Paris pact, that exit cannot become official until November 2020 at the earliest.

Huffman said last week that he’s working on the non-binding resolution to show that Democrats, who just took the House majority this month, are serious about climate change, and to repudiate Trump’s decision.

“It feels like this is a sweet spot on something we can do early in this Congress that sends an important message, that will be strongly passed out of the House,” Huffman said.

He said at least one House Republican was prepared to sign on, but declined to name the lawmaker.

If the resolution gets a vote, Huffman hopes it would be an early show of force for House Democrats against Trump’s environmental agenda. It would be nearly certain to pass, since the Democrats are nearly completely united in support of the Paris agreement.

The 2015 pact was the first time that all of the world’s nearly 200 nations agreed to limit greenhouse gas emissions. President Barack Obama’s contribution for the United States, which is not binding, was to cut emissions 26 percent to 28 percent below 2005 levels by 2025.

Tags Barack Obama Brian Fitzpatrick Carlos Curbelo Donald Trump Jared Huffman

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