Kathy Castor sounds alarm about likely end of Climate Crisis committee
Kathy Castor chairs the House Select Committee on the Climate Crisis.

The Tampa Democrat Chairs the committee now.

A Republican majority in the House means U.S. Rep. Kathy Castor won’t remain Chair for a climate change committee. Now, GOP leadership suggests the committee will not remain intact at all.

Castor said the House Select Committee on the Climate Crisis must continue in some form.

“House Republicans ignore the climate crisis to the detriment of America,” the Tampa Democrat said. “It’s baffling that the GOP has no plan to address the rising costs and escalating impacts of climate change. Their inaction and lockstep alliance with polluters are exacting a toll on everyday Americans, farmers, and communities alike — making it harder to afford basics like water, electricity and energy.”

When Democrats won control of the House in 2018, then-incoming Speaker Nancy Pelosi announced the formation of the select committee, with Castor as Chair.

Castor has led the committee since, and made addressing climate change a central part of her political agenda. During the years since creation of the committee, the Democratic House has passed more than 400 recommendations included in the Climate Crisis Action Plan, a product of the committee’s work. About 200 recommendations have been signed into law.

But while environmental protection plays well across the aisle in Florida, the very existence of climate change remains a contentious issue for Republicans across the country.

The Hill reported on Friday that a GOP majority under incoming Speaker Kevin McCarthy is expected to eliminate the committee altogether. The article quoted Rep. Garret Graves, the ranking Republican on the committee now.

“We don’t see a scenario where the ‘Climate Crisis Committee,’ a creature of Pelosi, will continue to exist,” he said.

Castor argued that’s the wrong move.

“Republicans seem eager to go down a path of increasing sweltering hot days, gutting clean air protections, padding the profits of Big Oil, and refusing to take a serious look at the cost-cutting potential of clean energy,” she said.

She said an absence of any policy work focused on the climate will be consequential for the nation.

“Ignoring the climate crisis is not an option for the millions of Americans whose lives have been devastated by floods, wildfires, and destructive superstorms like Katrina, Sandy, Maria, and Ian,” she said.

“And Republicans who continue to ignore the devastating impacts of climate-fueled disasters do so at their own peril. Millions of young Americans whose lives have been shaped by climate anxiety are now old enough to vote, with some of them already even running for office. I trust that they will hold Republicans accountable for any attempts to move America back to the past century, as will the millions of Americans whose communities will benefit from the cost-saving clean energy investments in our Inflation Reduction Act.

“It’s way past time for Republicans to take the climate crisis seriously.”

Jacob Ogles

Jacob Ogles has covered politics in Florida since 2000 for regional outlets including SRQ Magazine in Sarasota, The News-Press in Fort Myers and The Daily Commercial in Leesburg. His work has appeared nationally in The Advocate, Wired and other publications. Events like SRQ’s Where The Votes Are workshops made Ogles one of Southwest Florida’s most respected political analysts, and outlets like WWSB ABC 7 and WSRQ Sarasota have featured his insights. He can be reached at [email protected].


  • April Come She Will

    November 18, 2022 at 7:30 pm

    The global climate has been warming this cycle for 10,000 years, and more. To understand just how the Ds and the media farm this business, look at the words in the story: “crisis”, “anxiety”, “devastating,” etc. It’s all out of p.r. playbook, and it’s a bore, just like it’s been a bore since 1970–when the first earth day was a communist party celebration.

    • Ocean Joe

      November 19, 2022 at 8:00 am

      Ignore it, kick the can down the road.

      Double down on what we know makes it worse. Fight any attempt to shift away from fossil fuels. It’s too hard, too expensive. It’s somebody else’s problem.

      But keep your hands out for federal funds after each fiasco to repair the damage, instead of working to prevent it in the first place.

      Be selective. Blame global warming on science based history of the planet, but ignore the science that demonstrates how we’ve accelerated the warming and what will be lost with another few degrees of heat. Ignore thawing of permafrost and sea level rise, because it’s somehow a communist or socialist plot. Support population growth because the sanctity of unborn life outweighs the value of all existing life, and bring through all this ignorance a living hell on earth for future generations.

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      November 19, 2022 at 3:10 pm

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  • tom palmer

    November 19, 2022 at 12:03 pm

    The issue isn’t whether the climate is changing. That has been pretty well documented. The issue is what those with the power to take action should do to deal with it and what the metrics should be to measure whether those actions will have the intended effect. I agree we can proceed without the hyperbole from both sides of the question, No, life on earth isn’t going to end in a couple of decades and no, the idea that the rollback on air pollution regulations is a goal worth pursuing on the road to economic prosperity.

    • ScienceBLVR

      November 19, 2022 at 2:21 pm

      You are quite correct, TP. The rapidly melting polar caps certainly demonstrate cataclysmic climate change, and as someone who has taught the water cycle process, evaporation-condensation-precipitation many many times, there’s no question the effects will be devastating- Ask what they think in Buffalo today- but what we actually can do to ameliorate the destruction, and how soon we have to do it, will take more leadership than I’ve seen coming from either side, lately. At least the Dems recognize the problem most Reps, not so much.

      • April, etc.

        November 19, 2022 at 3:20 pm

        “. . .demonstrate cataclysmic climate change. . .” Mark Twain was right 150 years or so ago when he said of English writing, “if you can catch an adjective, kill it.” In this case, “cataclysmic.” The climate is changing, the climate has been changing, the climate will be changing, and humans will adapt, if you accept that their humanity requires them to be variable in their time scales and that those who like to take it a little slower are not raving Nazis. But the activists (the people destroying cherished works of art in Great Britain, for example) and their mouthpieces (the Associated Press for example) can’t seem to ween themselves from the frantic pace that their need for attention and hunger for drama seem to require.

        • Frederick Rodney Welsh

          November 20, 2022 at 6:41 am

          April, you argue that people will adapt. Don’t you think people are adapting now? The pace of their adapting is extremely rapid. Millions of air conditioners are bought every year. Tens of thousands of people are dying from heat exhaustion every year. It would be far more without air conditioners. Food prices are up all over the world. Millions are starving because of flooding and drought, The American West is in one of the worse droughts ever recorded. Worldwide, people are adapting as they always have. They are moving from where they are to other places where life is better. Since they have adapted so well, they hear about conditions in Europe and North America that are heavenly from their point of view. They are coming north by the million. That is adapting. People are adapting to magical decreases in infant mortality. In 1950 the world population was 2.5 billion. We just hit 8 billion now. Billions of these people are raising their energy usage by multiple times. Energy use is growing exponentially. America demands a new smart grid. So does China. I can’t imagine what Africa needs. Humanity is adapting though. It just isn’t close to adapting fast enough. I really don’t think there is any chance that it will be close enough.

  • Jerry Fardella

    November 21, 2022 at 5:34 pm

    Congresswoman Castor, before you rant about your Climate Change Committee, please show us simpletons the proof that climate change is the number 1 national threat, as you and the President have stated before..People on the right want to see the FACTS and we scoff at hyperbole and democratic talking points. You won re-election so you should be able to justify the reason for your committee; perhaps you should focus on the southern border mess, the fentanyl crisis or the islamic terrorist threat to the USA. Thank You

Comments are closed.


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