Dem lawmaker offers tool for 'filling in the blanks' of Green New Deal

Rep. Scott PetersScott H. PetersStatesmen seek bipartisan solutions to big challenges Pelosi heading to Madrid for UN climate change convention Freer housing is 'fairer housing' — HUD should tie funding to looser zoning MORE (D-Calif.) says there's a way to speed up the process of passing climate change legislation: Revisit bills that garnered bipartisan support and fill in the gaps of the Green New Deal.

The California Democrat on Wednesday previewed to The Hill what he calls a "climate playbook" that examines legislation introduced since 2017, arguing the already vetted bills could help give a boost to legislative action on climate following the introduction of the Green New Deal resolution.

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“In our committees we’re having a lot of hearings in the nature of informational hearings, or kind of inquisition hearings,” Peters said in an interview with The Hill. "Now maybe we can start having legislative hearings."

Peters said he hopes the playbook will be viewed as a response to the Green New Deal by “filling in the blanks” with legislative goals that were not detailed in Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-CortezAlexandria Ocasio-CortezSanders, Omar to hit campaign trail in New Hampshire Ocasio-Cortez: 'Won't you look at that: Amazon is coming to NYC anyway' House approves two-state resolution in implicit rebuke of Trump MORE’s (D-N.Y.) resolution.

The Green New Deal, he said, was well intentioned and “aspirational,” but inflicted some damage on moderate Democrats after Republicans seized on some aspects of it.

“I think the important thing is some of the moderates we're getting killed by the way the anti-climate Republicans were defining the Green New Deal — no cars, no cows, no planes,” Peters said. “But that’s not really what it’s about. What it’s about is the bills we will pass.”

Peters, a member of the House Energy and Commerce Committee, said he wanted to pull from past bills and see what proposals Republican and Democrats had offered on key topics like carbon pricing, energy efficiency and electric vehicles. The biggest challenge, he said, was that there was no easy place to find all of the legislation.

Many of the 53 bills in the playbook, he said, are passable since they had bipartisan support.

“We can help define what our action on climate is by looking at what’s already done,” he said.

The Democratic Party has weathered a few storms, including internally, in terms of how best to approach climate change legislation. While progressive members in the House, led by Ocasio-Cortez, have pushed a comprehensive approach to climate, some veteran lawmakers have favored piecemeal bills.

One of those bills includes Rep. Kathy CastorKatherine (Kathy) Anne CastorOvernight Energy: Pelosi vows bold action to counter 'existential' climate threat | Trump jokes new light bulbs don't make him look as good | 'Forever chemicals' measure pulled from defense bill Pelosi warns of 'existential' climate threat, vows bold action Overnight Energy: Pelosi vows to push for Paris climate goals | Senate confirms Brouillette to succeed Perry at Energy | EPA under attack from all sides over ethanol rule MORE’s (D-Fla.) Climate Action Now Act, which would bind the Trump administration to emissions goals laid out by the Paris climate accord. The measure has support from Speaker Nancy PelosiNancy PelosiPence: It's not a "foregone conclusion" that lawmakers impeach Trump Democrats open door to repealing ObamaCare tax in spending talks Sunday talk shows: Lawmakers gear up ahead of Monday's House Judiciary hearing MORE (D-Calif.) and was marked up in the House Foreign Affairs Committee on Tuesday.

While Peters’s playbook includes Castor’s legislation, he said bills that have been introduced in the 115th Congress seem the most likely to generate the bipartisan support needed to pass the Senate and make it to President TrumpDonald John TrumpPence: It's not a "foregone conclusion" that lawmakers impeach Trump FBI identifies Pensacola shooter as Saudi Royal Saudi Air Force second lieutenant Trump calls Warren 'Pocahontas,' knocks wealth tax MORE’s desk.

He cited measures like the USE IT Act, a bill on carbon capture supported by Rep. Liz CheneyElizabeth (Liz) Lynn CheneyOvernight Defense — Presented by Boeing — Stopgap spending bill includes military pay raise | Schumer presses Pentagon to protect impeachment witnesses | US ends civil-nuclear waiver in Iran Cruz, Graham and Cheney call on Trump to end all nuclear waivers for Iran Pompeo: US ending sanctions waiver for site where Iran resumed uranium enrichment MORE (R-Wyo.) and bills that focus on U.S. electric grid modernization.

“It was a big change to bring these new people in here, and they bring a lot of enthusiasm and a lot of experience in many cases,” Peters said, with a nod to Ocasio-Cortez.

“But the real change is that we are in the majority now. And a lot of stuff that we’ve been working on is primarily Democratic, but not exclusively, and a lot was bipartisan and is just not getting through. Now, let’s pick up where we left off.”