CCL climate change legislative update, November 2015

CCL climate change legislative update, November 2015

With CCL’s November Lobby Day coming up plus the Paris climate talks starting up at the end of the month, this is a good time to check in with CCL Legislative Director Danny Richter and Senior Outreach Liaison Stephanie Doyle to find out what’s been happening behind the scenes in Washington.

Lobby Day Meeting Notes


Danny has officially completed the second round of reading through meeting notes from the June Conference and Lobby Day! With 487 meeting notes all read and sorted, now he is busy completing the analysis with plans to have the report finished by the November Lobby Day. Volunteers attending the November Lobby Day will get the first look at the report, as well as an extensive training on how to explain the findings to members of Congress when they lobby the following day.

Breakthrough in the Senate

The end of October brought exciting news from the Senate, with the announcement from Sen. Kelly Ayotte (R-NH) that she has formed the Senate Energy and Environment Working Group that will “focus on ways we can protect our environment and climate while also bolstering clean energy innovation that helps drive job creation.” The group consists of Senators Lamar Alexander (R-TN), Mark Kirk (R-IL) and Lindsey Graham (R-SC) in addition to Senator Ayotte. She is also looking to grow the group with additional Republican senators who want to help move the conversation forward of protection of natural resources. CCL hopes that the Working Group can be a complement to the group of Republicans in the House who signed onto the Gibson Resolution in having a sincere, honest discussion about solutions to the climate problem.

Danny Presents to the Sustainable Energy and Environment Committee (SEEC)

On Friday, October 9th, Danny presented to the SEEC about Citizens’ Climate Lobby and our strategy for pushing Carbon Fee and Dividend through Congress. The committee is made up of all Democratic office staffers, the majority of which have met with CCL volunteers. Danny described CCL to them, and laid out the strategy of having a Republican champion to drop our bill. He also went over some of the major concerns from the June Lobby Day notes and how to respond to them. Danny also gave a brief summary of REMI study about the economic impact of our legislative proposal. The staffers in attendance (about 15) were attentive, asked good questions, and seemed encouraged by the work CCL does at a bipartisan level. About 30 of the members of SEEC are also members of the Safe Climate Caucus, which is a less technical group, and is more focused on getting speeches given on the floor of the House regarding climate change.

Representative Curbelo of Florida Announces Plans for Legislation

In an article published by E&E News on October 7th, Rep. Carlos Curbelo (R-FL) said that the same group of Republicans who cosponsored the Gibson resolution last month are considering introducing legislation to the House on climate change adaptation as early as next year. Curbelo is quoted as saying, “eventually we’ll have to get into the more controversial part of mitigating or preventing human influence on climate change.” He also said that the group is still actively recruiting more Republicans to sign onto the Gibson Resolution, and he expects as many as 24 Republicans to be signed on as co-sponsors soon. CCL is hopeful that Carbon Fee and Dividend can be one of those parts of the conversation on mitigation.

Shultz Plan Makes Public Appearances

The Shultz Plan (also known as Carbon Fee and Dividend) made two appearances recently in main stream media. During the second Republican debate, CNN’s Jake Tapper asked a question of the candidates about Shultz’s idea of taking out an insurance policy to protect against future climate disasters. It was again mentioned in an editorial in the Washington Post regarding candidate Jeb Bush’s energy plan as well as in Tom Friedman’s op-ed in the New York Times. CCLers have been using “the Shultz-Becker plan” in our meetings with Republican’s for almost a year now, and to see it being used in multiple main stream media sources is an encouraging sign that perhaps it can become the media’s go-to when challenging Republican’s on the issue of climate legislation.


Steve Valk
Steve Valk is Communications Coordinator for Citizens' Climate Lobby. Steve joined the CCL staff in 2009 after a 30-year career with the Atlanta Journal-Constitution. Follow him on Twitter at @valklimate.