With impending votes to raise the debt limit, set transportation funding, an update to the toxic chemicals control law, consideration of the enormous TPP trade deal and many other pressing items, the next few months will be very busy ones in Washington. All of this does not even include the upcoming House leadership elections, which will determine a new Speaker in that chamber and possibly affect votes on various E2 priorities.
On those priorities, leadership in both the House and Senate is planning to vote to delay or stop implementation of the Clean Power Plan in mid to late November, right before the international climate negotiations in Paris. Their goal: To send a message to other nations that President Obama is not the only voice on U.S. climate policy. This tactic will likely be executed through the Congressional Review Act (CRA), under a voting rule which stipulates a vote cannot be filibustered and needs only a simple majority (fifty one votes) to pass in the Senate. Those in the Senate that oppose climate action can certainly muster fifty one votes, but the President can veto this measure. The question is whether senators opposed to the CPP and global action on climate change deal in Paris can overcome a presidential veto, which is very unlikely.
E2 members from across the country will be on Capitol Hill to show business support for the Clean Power Plan and the Paris negotiations as part of our E2 winter DC Forum Nov. 17-18.
Participating E2 members on Nov. 17 will participate in a day-long advocacy and communications skills training as part of the Forum.
On Nov. 18, we will head to Capitol Hill to meet with members of Congress to seek these lawmakers’ support on the crucial CRA vote mentioned above; encourage Senators that a vote against the CPP and the negotiations in Paris is a vote against economic growth, and a bad deal for their constituents. Using E2 reports and most importantly, the real world experience of E2 members living and working in all 50 states; we can make the case to lawmakers that this vote is a bad one. Moreover, these same E2 members can encourage senators to support a final deal out of Paris, when it emerges the next month.
E2 members will also speak to lawmakers about supporting a long term extension of the Production Tax Credit (PTC) and Investment Tax Credit (ITC), which support wind and solar production, respectively. As happens nearly every year, these crucial clean energy tax incentives are up for consideration by Congress.
Yes, the next few months in Washington will be busy. And E2 members will be involved in the most important issues, helping to spur on the clean energy economy.
Grant Carlisle is E2's Director of Advocacy.