Mar 15 2017

Mast Joins Colleagues To Work Toward Solutions To Address Climate Change

Mast Joins 16 Colleagues To Introduce Resolution Acknowledging Climate Change, Calling For Economically-Viable Solutions

WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Congressman Brian Mast, a member of the bipartisan Climate Solutions Caucus, today joined Congresswoman Elise Stefanik (NY-21) and Congressman Carlos Curbelo (FL-26) in introducing a resolution that calls for using American innovation to improve environmental stewardship.

The resolution introduced today calls on the House of Representatives to commit to working on economically-viable solutions that address the risks of climate change, calling on “American ingenuity, innovation, and exceptionalism, “ and citing the “conservative principle to protect, conserve, and be good stewards of our environment.”

“As Secretary of Defense James Mattis has said, climate change is a challenge that requires a whole-of-government response. If we’re going to make progress to protect our environment, it’s critical that people on both sides of the aisle speak out about the serious impact that climate change will have on our environment and our economy,” Rep. Mast said. “Treasure Coast residents know all too well about the crippling impact on both the quality-of-life and economy when environmental disaster strikes. We must act now to find economically-viable solutions to address the risk of climate change.”

The lawmakers were joined by fourteen other Members of Congress: Reps. Mark Amodei (NV-02), Don Bacon (NE-02), Barbara Comstock (VA-10), Ryan Costello (PA-6), John Faso (NY-19), Brian Fitzpatrick (PA-08), John Katko (NY-24), Mia Love (UT-04), Ileana Ros-Lehtinen (FL-27), Frank LoBiondo (NJ-02), Pat Meehan (PA-07), Tom Reed (NY-23), David Reichert (WA-08), and Mark Sanford (SC-01).

“I am pleased to introduce this resolution with so many of my Republican colleagues and I thank them for their support on this effort,” Rep. Stefanik said. “Clean energy innovation is key to addressing the serious issue of climate change. This resolution brings together the priority of addressing the risks of climate change with the importance of protecting and creating American jobs. Innovation and clean energy are key to solving both. New York’s 21st district is the proud home of the Adirondacks and we understand that protecting our environment plays an important role in promoting economic growth and opportunity.”

The resolution calls for better environmental stewardship through “economically viable, and broadly supported private and public solutions to study and address the causes and effects of measured changes to our global and regional climates.”

"With forty percent of Florida’s population at risk from sea-level rise, my state is on the front lines of climate change,” Rep. Curbelo said. “South Florida residents are already beginning to feel the effects of climate change in their daily lives – from chronic flooding to coral bleaching to threats to our freshwater supply in the Everglades. We cannot ignore these challenges and every Member of Congress has a responsibility to our constituents and future generations to support market-based solutions, investments, and innovations that could alleviate the effects of climate change and make our nation more resilient. Our goal with this resolution is to shift the debate from whether climate change is real toward the tangible efforts to reduce carbon emissions and mitigate its effects."

The text of the resolution can be found here.

What They’re Saying:

Mark Reynolds, Executive Director, Citizens' Climate Lobby
“The risks of climate change are far too great to get bogged down in partisan politics. With this resolution, these 17 Republicans are saying that business-as-usual is unacceptable when it comes to preserving a livable world for future generations. Hopefully, their leadership will help us turn the page and move forward on solutions to this critical problem.”

Diane Randall, Executive Secretary, Friends Committee on National Legislation (The Quaker lobby in the public interest)
“The leadership demonstrated by the 17 co-sponsors of this Republican climate resolution is such a hopeful step forward. This resolution shows that our moral obligation to address climate change and protect vulnerable communities transcends partisanship, and that there truly is political will to address this issue from both political parties in Congress. Now, more than ever, we pray that Congress will quickly pivot the dialogue towards meaningful climate solutions.”

David Jenkins, President, Conservatives for Responsible Stewardship
“The significance of this Republican climate resolution cannot be overstated. Real conservatives don’t deny reality, they face it. They don’t avoid problems, they tackle them head on. The resolution’s 17 initial cosponsors are stepping up on an issue that grows more urgent every day, and showing the prudent, fact-based—and yes, conservative—leadership our nation needs. We are grateful for this important first step.”

Dan Misleh, Executive Director, Catholic Climate Covenant
“The Catholic Climate Covenant applauds the moral courage of the 17 Republican legislators who have introduced this resolution. The Catholic Church recognizes the threat that climate change poses to our common home and to human life and dignity – especially of the poor and vulnerable, and of those in future generations. We are heartened that Congress is responding to Pope Francis’s call in his address to Congress and in Laudato Si to “enter into dialogue with all people about our common home” (Laudato Si’, no. 3). We encourage House members take the next step of joining the bipartisan House Climate Solutions Caucus.”

The Niskanen Center
“The sponsors of the Republican Climate Resolution understand that there is nothing conservative about ignoring the enormous risks of climate change. As conservatives, we believe the government exists to protect property rights and lives. It is clear that climate change will put both at risk for our kids and future generations. It is also clear that we have the means to significantly reduce those risks and leave a prosperous and clean future for posterity. The Niskanen Center applauds these Republicans who are looking to take positive steps forward finding practical and market-based solutions for climate change.”

Ken Kimmell, President, Union of Concerned Scientists
“I’m heartened to see Republican House members introduce a resolution committing Congress to address climate change and base its policy decisions on science and quantifiable facts. While the resolution doesn’t explicitly make the link to fossil fuel emissions, it shows that these Republican lawmakers are not in a state of denial about this key issue. The U.S. is seeing more extreme weather due to climate change, including flooding, droughts and wildfires, which cost taxpayers billions of dollars in damages. There’s strength in numbers, and I hope that this sizable group of responsible leaders will have an impact on votes in Congress.”

Francesco "Frank" Femia and Caitlin Werrell, Co-Founders and Presidents, The Center for Climate and Security
“This resolution demonstrates that the security risks of climate change are a reality that partisanship cannot continue to obscure. The Department of Defense and intelligence community have recognized this issue across both Republican and Democratic Administrations, and it's heartening to see Republican policy-makers from all parts of the country acting on that.”

Mindy Lubber, President, Ceres (A nonprofit mobilizing business and investor leadership for a sustainable global economy)
“Today’s announcement sends a loud and clear message that addressing climate change need not be a partisan issue. We applaud all lawmakers - no matter their party affiliation - who recognize the urgency of tackling climate change and the enormous economic opportunities of accelerating clean energy in all parts of the United States. The cosponsors of this resolution have shown bold leadership, and we look forward to working with them to craft bipartisan climate solutions that Americans want and expect from Washington.”

Lynn Scarlett, Managing Director of Public Policy, The Nature Conservancy
“As a science-driven organization, The Nature Conservancy strongly supports actions to address climate change. We appreciate the leadership of Reps. Stefanik, Curbelo, and Costello and their fellow members of Congress in recognizing the consequences of a changing climate and calling for solutions to this challenge.”

The Rev. Mitch Hescox, President/CEO, The Evangelical Environmental Network (EEN)
"We are proud of the courageous leadership of Rep. Elise Stefanik (NY-21), Rep. Carlos Curbelo (FL-26), Rep. Ryan Costello (PA-6), and the 14 other Republican co-sponsors of this House Resolution affirming that climate change is a serious problem that must be addressed in order for us to be "good stewards of our environment ...". We heartily concur and stand ready to support efforts to do so”.

Heather Reams, Managing Director, Citizens for Responsible Energy Solutions
“Addressing climate change through clean energy solutions is smart policy and smart politics. Time and again, CRES polling shows that voters overwhelming support lawmakers who prioritize clean energy to advance the economy, create good paying jobs, promote energy independence, and protect the environment.”

Admiral Frank "Skip" Bowman, U.S. Navy (ret), Member of the Advisory Board, The Center for Climate and Security, Former Director of the Naval Nuclear Propulsion Program
“I support this Republican Climate Resolution. Putting aside arguments of cause and effect, there are measured and measurable data and global events that must be considered and accounted for in our defense planning.”

Rear Admiral David W. Titley, U.S. Navy (ret), Member of the Advisory Board, The Center for Climate and Security, Former Oceanographer of the Navy
"I'm very excited to see the Republican Climate Change Resolution introduced to the Congress. Our nation's long-term security is critically dependent on moving away from fossil-based fuels to lessen the worst risks of climate change. This change will not happen without support and leadership from the Congress, in partnership with the Administration. The Republican Climate Change Resolution is a good first step towards a serious bi-partisan policy discussion.”

Commander David "Deke" Slayton, U.S. Navy (ret), Member of the Advisory Board, The Center for Climate and Security
"The Republican Climate Resolution ably and well serves as an imperative and call for action for our Nation. The resolution captures the issues of an observable, changing climate and the dynamic events we see unfolding in the worlds oceans today. These critical events demand U.S. Congressional and national executive leadership, now. "

Sherri Goodman, Member of the Advisory Board, The Center for Climate and Security, Former Deputy Undersecretary of Defense
“The Republican Climate Resolution, whose signers represent a broad cross-section of America affected by climate change, from our coasts to rural agricultural areas, soundly recognizes that climate change is a “threat multiplier” that will adversely affect our national security interests as well as all Americans, where we live and work. The leaders of this effort should be commended for recognizing that we need both to study and address changes in our global and regional climates, and build more resilient communities for America’s future.”

Vice Admiral Lee Gunn, U.S. Navy (ret)
"I am enthusiastically adding my support for this Republican Climate Resolution (Ms. Stefanik, et al., 'Expressing the commitment of the House of Representatives to conservative environmental stewardship.'). The resolution acknowledges, among other things, the enormous national security importance of stewardship of the environment for America. Our armed services depend on predictable conditions at home for training, maintenance, drills and exercises, and bases, all components of building ready military forces. Also, the demands worldwide on not only our military but our economic, diplomatic and political power, demands on all elements of our national power, will inevitably be greater if the environment becomes less predictable. The Republican Climate Resolution supports not only traditional American values, but the practical imperative of maintaining our security at home and abroad."

Colonel Lawrence Wilkerson, U.S. Army (ret), former chief of staff to Secretary of State Colin Powell, Visiting Professor of Government and Public Policy, the College of William and Mary
The Republican Climate Change Resolution being introduced in the Congress--the Gibson Resolution under new leadership--symbolizes my political party's recognition of climate change's impact on national security, an impact already being felt from the shipyards at Hampton Roads to the Ship Channel in Houston, Texas. Congresswoman Elise Stefanik and her 16 Republican co-sponsors are to be congratulated for their herculean efforts to bring my political party to a firm recognition of these risks."