Murkowski, Manchin call for 'responsible solutions' to climate change

Murkowski, Manchin call for 'responsible solutions' to climate change
© Stefani Reynolds

Two centrist senators on Friday called for the U.S. to pursue "pragmatic policies" to combat climate change instead of focusing on "drastic, unattainable measures."

Sens. Lisa MurkowskiLisa Ann MurkowskiRed dresses displayed around American Indian museum to memorialize missing, murdered native women Juan Williams: Don't rule out impeaching Trump The 25 Republicans who defied Trump on emergency declaration MORE (R-Alaska) and Joe ManchinJoseph (Joe) ManchinManchin says he won't support LGBTQ protection bill as written Senators offer bipartisan bill to fix 'retail glitch' in GOP tax law Murkowski, Manchin call for 'responsible solutions' to climate change MORE (D-W.Va.) wrote in a Washington Post op-ed that the U.S. has the opportunity to lead the world on the development of new technologies to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and pledged to support those efforts in the Senate.

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"If the United States is going to lead by example, we must continue to lead the world in the development of new and improved technologies," they wrote. "On the Energy and Natural Resources Committee, we agree it is time to act. And that is why we will work to find responsible solutions worthy of West Virginians, Alaskans and all Americans."

While not naming the Green New Deal introduced by Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-CortezAlexandria Ocasio-CortezOcasio-Cortez fires back at Jamie Dimon after CEO dismisses Green New Deal Inslee: We want world to know 'there is still intelligent life in the US' The importance of moderate voters MORE (D-N.Y.) and Sen. Ed MarkeyEdward (Ed) John MarkeyWarren, Klobuchar call on FTC to curtail use of non-compete clauses Senate Dems petition Saudi king to release dissidents, US citizen The Hill's 12:30 Report: Manafort sentenced to total of 7.5 years in prison MORE (D-Mass.) earlier this year, Murkowski and Manchin appeared to knock the plan as drastic and unattainable in passing reference.

"This is often portrayed as an issue with just two sides — those who support drastic, unattainable measures to reduce greenhouse-gas emissions, and those who want to do nothing," they wrote. "We believe the time for sensationalism is over. And we are seeking ideas that will bring people together, rather than drive them apart."

While not naming specific policies the two would pursue, Murkowski and Manchin wrote that they would support "pragmatic policies that can draw strong and enduring support" from voters and lawmakers alike.

The two rural state senators are the top Republican and Democrat on the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee, which oversees the Interior and Energy departments as well as the production of oil and gas on federal land.

Manchin ascended to the ranking member's spot in December, a move environmental activists lambasted at the time due to the West Virginia senator's historic support for coal companies.

"Joe Manchin’s appointment as ranking member of the Senate Energy Committee is a stark failure of [Senate Minority Leader] Chuck SchumerCharles (Chuck) Ellis SchumerGOP senator: Trump's criticism of McCain 'deplorable' Schumer to introduce bill naming Senate office building after McCain amid Trump uproar Why we need to build gateway now MORE’s leadership," environmentalist group Friends of the Earth said in a statement last year. "Schumer is out of touch with the progressive voters who will continue to push for a Green New Deal in the next Congress."

This article was updated at 3:20 p.m.