SEEC Launches Three Climate-Focused Task Forces

January 26, 2022
Press Release

Washington D.C. – Today, the House Sustainable Energy and Environment Coalition (SEEC) announced the launch of three task forces focused on tackling key aspects of the climate crisis in need of increased congressional attention.

Climate and Agriculture Task Force

SEEC Vice Chair Rep. Chellie Pingree and Rep. Kim Schrier will co-chair the Climate and Agriculture Task Force, which will build on the increasing engagement by American farmers on climate change issues in the lead up to the reauthorization of the Farm Bill, to ensure that bill is the most climate-friendly Farm Bill Congress has ever considered. Additionally, the task force will also investigate other aspects of U.S. food policy and threats to U.S. agricultural and forest lands posed by climate change.

“As an organic farmer for more than 40 years, I know that farmers can be some of our strongest allies in the fight against climate change. By implementing climate-smart practices, farmers have an opportunity to enhance their resilience in the face of extreme weather events, reduce greenhouse gas emissions, and capture more carbon in the soil. It’s up to us to give them the tools and resources to do so,” said Congresswoman Chellie Pingree, Vice Chair of SEEC. “It’s an honor to Co-Chair SEEC’s Climate-Agriculture Task Force alongside Congresswoman Schrier. At the helm of this task force, we will push for solutions to secure a sustainable future for American agriculture and rural communities from Maine to Washington State.”

“I’m honored to be co-chairing the SEEC Climate and Agriculture Task Force with my colleague Rep. Pingree,” said Congresswoman Kim Schrier. “Farmers and ranchers are at the front lines of the climate crisis. Droughts, fires, and floods are affecting their livelihoods. And I have seen firsthand, during my time on the Agriculture Committee and time spent with farmers in our district, that they understand the urgency of climate action. It is important that we recognize, celebrate, and amplify the contributions of our farmers who engage in these and other responsible farming practices. There isn’t one silver bullet to solve the current climate crisis, but through innovation and bold action we may yet be able to preserve our planet and future.”

Climate and National Security Task Force

Rep. Jim Langevin and Rep. Katie Porter will co-chair the Climate and National Security Task Force, which will expand upon the growing consensus that climate change poses a national security threat to the United States. Congress acknowledged this via an amendment authored by Rep. Langevin to the Fiscal Year 2018 National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) that climate change “is a direct threat to the national security of the United States.” This task force will focus on the need to make the U.S. military more climate-resilient and to mitigate the military’s own emissions, as well as other foreign policy considerations that are exacerbated by the climate crisis.

“As we speak, unmitigated climate change threatens to undermine our collective national security. We must be cleareyed about addressing operational threats posed by climate change -- such as compromised readiness and increased global instability -- and embrace the role our military can play in the fight against climate change itself,” said Congressman Jim Langevin. “I was proud to lead the NDAA amendment requiring the Department of Defense to begin preparing our military for the risks posed by climate change, and I’m grateful to Rep. Porter for joining me in leading this very prescient task force.”

“Climate change poses a direct threat to global stability and national security,” Congresswoman Katie Porter said. “We know that without bold and urgent action, countries across the world will face extreme shortages of food and other resources, costly weather disasters, and displacement. The United States must make the climate crisis a top priority in our security planning, and I’m hopeful that our Climate and National Security Task Force will spearhead solutions to do just that.”

Power Sector Task Force

Rep. Sean Casten and Rep. Raja Krishnamoorthi will co-chair the Power Sector Task Force, which will focus on what additional actions are needed to decarbonize this sector of our economy, which is vital for the rest of our economy to fully decarbonize as well. The task force will build on the important down payments made in the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act to modernize our grid, as well as continue to push for the even greater power sector investments in the House-passed Build Back Better Act. In particular, the task force will examine reforms to our transmission system to ensure the renewable energy future can be achieved at the scale and speed required to meet this crisis.

“Having come to Congress after two decades helping companies profitably reduce emissions in the private sector, I know first-hand that you can expand access to cleaner, cheaper energy, create jobs, and lower carbon emissions at the same time,” said Congressman Sean Casten. “To combat the climate crisis with the urgency it demands, we must transition to a carbon-neutral economy as quickly as possible, and that can’t happen without first decarbonizing the US power sector. Modernizing the electric grid to maximize energy efficiency has been a top priority of mine since entering Congress. I am honored to be named co-chair of this task force and look forward to working with my colleagues to lead Congress in these efforts.”

“I am looking forward to serving as co-chair of the Sustainable Energy & Environment Coalition’s newly-formed Power Sector Task Force, alongside Representative Casten,” Congressman Raja Krishnamoorthi said. “We are on the precipice of a new age of clean energy in the power sector, and thanks to the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law, we will begin to see our electrical grid and our cars move into a new era of efficiency and sustainability. I was proud to come to Congress with my business background, and I’m committed to using that experience to inform this Task Force’s efforts.”

 

The membership of each task force is as follows:

Climate and Agriculture Task Force

Co-Chair Chellie Pingree (ME-1)

Co-Chair Kim Schrier (WA-8)

Earl Blumenauer (OR-3)

Lisa Blunt Rochester (DE-AL)

Julia Brownley (CA-26)

Chrissy Houlahan (PA-6)

Jared Huffman (CA-2)

Doris Matsui (CA-6)

Ann McLane Kuster (NH-2)

Jimmy Panetta (CA-20)

 

Climate and National Security Task Force

Co-Chair Jim Langevin (RI-2)

Co-Chair Katie Porter (CA-45)

Jake Auchincloss (MA-4)

Mark DeSaulnier (CA-11)

Debbie Dingell (MI-12)

Derek Kilmer (WA-6)

Ted Lieu (CA-33)

Donald McEachin (VA-4)

 

Power Sector Task Force

Co-Chair Sean Casten (IL-6)

Co-Chair Raja Krishnamoorthi (IL-8)

Suzanne Bonamici (OR-1)

Mike Levin (CA-49)

David Price (NC-4)

Paul Tonko (NY-20)

Bonnie Watson Coleman (NJ-12)

Peter Welch (VT-AL)