The U.S. Just Passed Its First Climate Change Bill In A Decade, And That's Not Even The Sad Part

Here is the moment Democrats introduced the Climate Action Now Act in March 2019. (Photo: AP)

If it were up to the House Democrats, the U.S. would still be a part of the Paris Climate Agreement. In fact, they all voted Thursday to pass a bill that aims to reinstate our role in this international accord. So did three Republicans, reports E&E News. And that’s about as much Republican support as the bill’s likely to see.

The bill, H.R. 9 or the Climate Action Now Act, is the first major climate legislation to make it out of the House of Representatives in almost 10 years. That’s because the House used to be run by the GOP. Unfortunately, the Republicans still control the White House and the Senate, so this bill has a snowball’s chance in hell of becoming law.

In fact, Senate Majority leader Mitch McConnell has already said he won’t be considering it, according to Reuters. And President Donald Trump signing a bill that reverses his decision to leave the Paris Agreement seems like pure fantasy.

The U.S. president pulled the U.S. from the international agreement back in June 2017. When the historic agreement was signed, countries set forth emissions reductions goals aimed at keeping the planet from warming 2 degrees Celsius above pre-industrial levels. In the perfect world, global temperatures would not rise above 1.5 degrees Celsius, but that feels more and more unlikely every day.

Anyway, the Climate Action Now Act would throw the U.S. back in the ring by preventing Trump from using federal funds to pull the U.S. out of the agreement (which we can’t formally withdraw from until 2020) and draw up a plan to reduce our nationwide emissions, which are among the highest in the world. Rep. Kathy Castor of Florida introduced the bill back in March.

On the real, though, it won’t pass under Trump. Luckily, cities like Los Angeles and states like Maine are working on their own individual emissions-reduction plans. If Congress won’t support a climate action, well, fuck ‘em.

“Trump’s decision to pull out of the Paris Agreement put the futures of our kids at risk,” said Rep. Deb Haaland of New Mexico in a statement. “By passing this bill we’re saying that we are committed to working with the rest of the world to act on climate and securing a future of good paying jobs in a renewable energy economy.”

There is something rewarding about seeing Democrats get in formation in the name of climate change. If only those on the other side of the line would, too.

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