The first month of 2019 is at a close, and with legislatures across the country just beginning their sessions and Congress finally getting back to work after a 35-day shutdown, it may seem like the New Year is off to a slow start in climate action.
But rest assured, this is just the calm before a storm of action around climate issues that E2 will be on the ground fighting for (and against) in the coming weeks and months.
At the state level, several legislatures are gearing up for major policies to dramatically advance their clean economy.
- In Oregon, a long-awaited Cap-and-Invest bill is expected to be announced in the coming days.
- In Illinois, a bill that would put the state on a path to 100% renewable energy is expected in the coming weeks.
- In Washington, a bill (HB110) to create a clean fuel standard advanced to the House Transportation Committee.
On the federal level, the climate debate could receive national attention at a level we’ve never seen with a new Democratic House and a slew of rollbacks advancing in the Trump administration.
- Regardless of its still hazy details, the Green New Deal will become a national topic as 2020 presidential candidates emerge and House Democrats begin to set hearings and introduce new bills on energy and climate.
- Trump’s revised 2019–2024 offshore drilling plan is expected to radically expand offshore drilling to new areas in the Pacific, Atlantic, Gulf of Mexico, and Artic.
- Acting EPA chief Andrew Wheeler’s confirmation vote is expected next week, raising the issue of his agency’s recent environmental rollbacks.
In addition to this, four governors from states where E2 works signed significant executive orders this month:
- Illinois and New Mexico joined the U.S. Climate Alliance after Govs. Pritzker and Grisham signed executive orders to commit their states to the 2015 Paris Agreement.
- Pennsylvania Gov. Wolf signed an executive order establishing the first statewide goal to reduce carbon emissions.
- Colorado Gov. Polis signed his first executive order directing the state to establish a Zero Emission vehicle program.
E2 will continue to be active on all these issues in 2019. Please contact your state and regional E2 advocates or E2 advocacy director Grant Carlisle to get involved. This year 2019 looks to be a critical year for climate action and E2 will need your support to ensure we make the most of it.