House Republicans Attack the Environment
Obama’s chief science adviser, John Holdren, spoke to BBC News at the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) meeting in Washington, D.C. Holdren said that the Obama administration “will have to look to a future Congress for the more comprehensive approach that climate change will require.” Unfortunately, Holdren is right. The Republican lead House has no intention of passing climate change legislation.
A Think Progress analysis last fall found that 50 percent of the incoming Republican congressional members deny the existence of human-caused climate change, and 86 percent are opposed to any climate change legislation that increases government revenue. Ironically, 46 percent want a balanced budget amendment.
It should come as no surprise that last week the House passed legislation last week to trim $61 billion from government’s budget, which included decreasing the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) budget by almost one-third. Legislation was also passed that would protect fossil fuel companies from federal greenhouse gas (GHG) regulations.
The actions of the House stand in opposition to several recent reports, including a report by University of Massachusetts researchers. The EPA’s air pollution rules for the electric power sector will lead companies to invest, according to recent estimates, almost $200 billion in capital improvements over the next five years. The report estimates that the total employment created by the investments to be 1.46 million jobs, or 290,000 jobs a year.
Tougher European Union (EU) GHG emissions reductions would increase the EU’s gross domestic product (GDP) growth by 0.6 percent a year, six percent over all by 2020, and create up to six million jobs by 2020, according to a report. The current emission reduction goal is 20 percent below 1990 levels by 2020, and the report’s estimations considered a 30 percent reduction goal.
Investing two percent of global GDP into key sectors now until 2050 to transition to a green economy would create jobs and boost the economy, a U.N. Environment Program report titled Towards a Green Economy stated.