Climate change, or the climate crisis as many would prefer to call it, has risen to the top of the legislative agenda for the U.S. House of Representatives since Democrats took control of the chamber in January. And laying the groundwork for policy options is the Select Committee on the Climate Crisis established by House Speaker Nancy Pelosi to place a high priority on the work. So now, months later, what has this special panel accomplished and how has it navigated this controversial issue?
In this edition of Columbia Energy Exchange, host Bill Loveless talks with Representative Kathy Castor, a Florida Democrat who heads the Select Committee on the Climate Crisis. Now in her seventh two-year term, Chair Castor represents a district that includes Tampa, a city on Florida’s Gulf Coast that’s at risk of sea-level rise. Before her election to Congress, she was a member of the Hillsborough County Commission and chair of the county’s Environmental Protection Commission.
In the House, she’s also a member of the Energy and Commerce Committee, where much of the climate legislation will be assembled once the select committee that she heads completes its work.
Bill caught up with Representative Castor in her office on Capitol Hill to talk about what the select committee has done so far, how it will fulfill its mandate to provide legislative recommendations, and how she sees the politics of climate change playing out in Washington. They also talked about some of the options her panel has considered and what she needs to hear from the public before she submits recommendations early next year.