At the monthly Tri-Valley Citizens Climate Lobby meeting, Carlos Cubelo, a former member of the House of Representatives and co-chair of the Congressional Future Caucus, discussed on video how climate change was now being discussed in the U.S. Congress.
Cubelo noted that recently those who do not believe in climate change are rarely being called upon to testify in congressional hearings at the Climate Solutions Caucus. There has been a dramatic shift in the discussion. The debate these days is not about whether climate change is a real phenomenon or questioning the science. The dialogue between Republicans and Democrats now is about determining the best solutions to deal with climate change. He said that this a drastic improvement; we are closer than we have ever been to a carbon solution that our country and the world need.
Cubelo continued, Republicans are being asked to consider this as a conservative market-based solution. Many more Republicans are admitting that climate change is real and cannot be ignored. They are not using their previous strategy, which was to avoid the issue. This does not excuse some Democrats who are not interested in finding a healthy compromise on the issue, and ignore the fact that the solution must be bi-partisan.
Cubelo added, "An all or nothing approach leads to nothing. That is not an option when it comes to addressing climate change. We have limited time. Outreach is critical to both Republicans and Democrats".
Cubelo reported that further meetings concerning the Energy Innovation Act have been referred to the Energy and Commerce, Ways and Means and Foreign Affairs committees.
Nationally, the Climate Council Leadership has been effective in bringing on board major oil companies and other major U.S. corporations to make the case for a price on carbon. That makes a difference with lawmakers, since these are companies that have the ear of many politicians. This can lead to the point where Republicans and Democrats could find a healthy compromise that may not solve the entire problem immediately, but would certainly get the U.S. closer to net zero emissions.
According to Cubelo, it is extremely important for Republican and Democratic leaders to hear from constituents across the political spectrum saying that they may not agree on every issue, but they really want to be a part of solving climate change. “It’s about making sure that future generations can continue living on this earth, enjoying this earth, and delivering a healthy planet.”
Cubelo concluded by stating that people in American politics rarely have conversations anymore. Human relations in politics has been lost. This is a large reason for the deterioration of our politics over the years. Creating an environment where people can actually talk and understand each other is very useful.