Blumenauer pushes for climate change national emergency
Rep. Earl Blumenauer, D-Oregon, has found some powerful allies to support his proposed resolution that would declare climate change a national emergency.
Blumenauer held a press call with local and national outlets on Tuesday morning, July 9, in support of House Concurrent Resolution 52, which he wrote. It was introduced on Capitol Hill later that day.
"People's lives are on the line," Blumenauer said, praising the so-called Green New Deal in the same breath.
The representative was joined by firebrand Congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, D-New York, and Sen. Benie Sanders, a Vermont independent who is running in the Democratic primary for the 2020 presidential race.
"The scientific consensus is here," said Rep. Ocasio-Cortez, who co-sponsored the Green New Deal. "The solutions are right in front of us."
"This is a moral imperative," added Sen. Sanders. "We are going to have to take on the greed of the fossil fuel industry, and the ignorance of Donald Trump, and transform our energy system in a very bold way."
The resolution, which has since been referred to the House Committee on Energy and Commerce, would call for "national, social, industrial and economic" mobilization to halt global warming, noting that the four hottest years on record were 2015, 2016, 2017 and 2018. It also states that "climate-related natural disasters" have ballooned in recent years, to the tune of $100 billion in damages a year.
During the conference call, Blumenauer said he was inspired to craft the legislation after President Trump declared a national emergency along the nation's southern border on Feb. 15.
"Heavens, the national emergency is not the border. It's the climate," Blumenauer said. "It's time for Congress to formally acknowledge the scale and depth of climate change."
The resolution, if adopted, would not grant any extraordinary or special legal powers to the government.