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

Rep. Scott PetersScott H. PetersCalifornia was key factor in House GOP's 2020 success Trump's illness sparks new urgency for COVID-19 deal Moderate Democrats push leadership to pull marijuana legislation 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-CortezHarry Styles hits back at criticism over wearing dress on Vogue cover 'It's not a slogan': Progressives push back on Obama's comments on 'defund the police' movement Obama says Democrats should make sure Ocasio-Cortez has a platform 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 CastorDemocrats were united on top issues this Congress — but will it hold? Progress toward managing rising seas US to exit Paris accord whether Trump or Biden wins 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 PelosiBiden backs 0B compromise coronavirus stimulus bill US records over 14 million coronavirus cases On The Money: COVID-19 relief picks up steam as McConnell, Pelosi hold talks | Slowing job growth raises fears of double-dip recession | Biden officially announces Brian Deese as top economic adviser 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 TrumpBiden says GOP senators have called to congratulate him Biden: Trump attending inauguration is 'of consequence' to the country Biden says family will avoid business conflicts MORE’s desk.

He cited measures like the USE IT Act, a bill on carbon capture supported by Rep. Liz CheneyElizabeth (Liz) Lynn CheneyPressure grows from GOP for Trump to recognize Biden election win Trump: Liz Cheney's election remarks sparked by push to bring US troops home Biden's lead over Trump surpasses 6M votes as more ballots are tallied 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.”