Rep. Peters recently announced his Climate Playbook of dozens of bills, most with bipartisan support and the potential to actually become law. The Climate Playbook is described in an April 10th piece for The Hill, posted below:
Dem lawmaker offers tool for ‘filling in the blanks’ of Green New Deal
By Miranda Green
April 10th, 2019
Rep. Scott Peters (D-Calif.) says there’s a way to speed up the process of passing climate change legislation: Revisit bills that garnered bipartisan support and fill in the gaps of the Green New Deal.
The California Democrat on Wednesday previewed to The Hill what he calls a “climate playbook” that examines legislation introduced since 2017, arguing the already vetted bills could help give a boost to legislative action on climate following the introduction of the Green New Deal resolution.
“In our committees we’re having a lot of hearings in the nature of informational hearings, or kind of inquisition hearings,” Peters said in an interview with The Hill. “Now maybe we can start having legislative hearings.”
Peters said he hopes the playbook will be viewed as a response to the Green New Deal by “filling in the blanks” with legislative goals that were not detailed in Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez’s (D-N.Y.) resolution.
The Green New Deal, he said, was well intentioned and “aspirational,” but inflicted some damage on moderate Democrats after Republicans seized on some aspects of it.
“I think the important thing is some of the moderates we’re getting killed by the way the anti-climate Republicans were defining the Green New Deal — no cars, no cows, no planes,” Peters said. “But that’s not really what it’s about. What it’s about is the bills we will pass.”
Peters, a member of the House Energy and Commerce Committee, said he wanted to pull from past bills and see what proposals Republican and Democrats had offered on key topics like carbon pricing, energy efficiency and electric vehicles. The biggest challenge, he said, was that there was no easy place to find all of the legislation.
Many of the 53 bills in the playbook, he said, are passable since they had bipartisan support.
“We can help define what our action on climate is by looking at what’s already done,” he said.
The Democratic Party has weathered a few storms, including internally, in terms of how best to approach climate change legislation. While progressive members in the House, led by Ocasio-Cortez, have pushed a comprehensive approach to climate, some veteran lawmakers have favored piecemeal bills.
One of those bills includes Rep. Kathy Castor’s (D-Fla.) Climate Action Now Act, which would bind the Trump administration to emissions goals laid out by the Paris climate accord. The measure has support from Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) and was marked up in the House Foreign Affairs Committee on Tuesday.
While Peters’s playbook includes Castor’s legislation, he said bills that have been introduced in the 115th Congress seem the most likely to generate the bipartisan support needed to pass the Senate and make it to President Trump’s desk.
He cited measures like the USE IT Act, a bill on carbon capture supported by Rep. Liz Cheney (R-Wyo.) and bills that focus on U.S. electric grid modernization.
“It was a big change to bring these new people in here, and they bring a lot of enthusiasm and a lot of experience in many cases,” Peters said, with a nod to Ocasio-Cortez.
“But the real change is that we are in the majority now. And a lot of stuff that we’ve been working on is primarily Democratic, but not exclusively, and a lot was bipartisan and is just not getting through. Now, let’s pick up where we left off.”