Klobuchar, Maloney Introduce Legislation to Build Climate Change Preparedness
WASHINGTON -- U.S. Senator Amy Klobuchar (D-MN) and Representative Carolyn Maloney (D-NY), Chairwoman, House Committee on Oversight and Reform, introduced legislation that will build climate change preparedness, mitigation, and resilience into all aspects of federal government operations. Senator Tina Smith (D-MN) joined as an original cosponsor. The Climate Planning, Resilience, and Enhanced Preparedness (Climate PREP) Act would require each agency of the federal government to create a climate change adaptation plan and establish a Council on Climate Preparedness and Resilience.
“As our country continues to face unprecedented natural disasters, we must address the growing threat of climate change to our country and planet,” Klobuchar said. “The federal government needs to lead by prioritizing planning efforts. The Climate PREP Act would ensure that each agency in the federal government has a plan in place to respond to the challenges of a changing climate. We should continue to do more, not less, to address climate change because inaction is not an option.”
“America’s response to climate change must include evidence-based planning at the federal level that recognizes the magnitude of the threat and responds accordingly,” Maloney said. “We are proud to partner with Senator Klobuchar on the Federal Agency Climate PREP Act to ensure that all federal government operations examine and address the effects of climate change. American lives, livelihoods, ecosystems, security, and prosperity depend on this kind of strategic and whole-of-government effort in the face of the climate crisis.”
“If we do nothing, climate change will be an economic, environmental and public health disaster,” said Smith, a member of the Senate Democrats’ Special Committee on the Climate Crisis. “But if the United States rises to the challenge of addressing it, then we can grow American jobs, reduce health disparities and environmental injustices, and protect the planet for our children and our grandchildren. I am glad to support the Climate PREP Act and will keep pressing Congress to act on climate.”
In addition to Klobuchar, the bill is cosponsored by Senators Tina Smith (D-MN), Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY), and Debbie Stabenow (D-MI).
The Climate Planning, Resilience, and Enhanced Preparedness Act (Climate PREP Act), is modeled on two Executive Orders issued by President Barack Obama to build climate change preparedness, mitigation, and resilience into all aspects of federal government operations. It would require each agency to create a climate change adaptation plan that includes:
- Assessments of climate change-related risks to agency missions, operations, and programs;
- Efforts to manage these risks and build resilience with future milestones in mind;
- Strategies for addressing risks that threaten vital missions and operations;
- Alternatives for agency actions that may exacerbate climate change threats; and
- Opportunities to address the disproportionate effect of climate change on frontline communities and vulnerable populations.
The Climate PREP Act also would establish the Council on Climate Preparedness and Resilience, an interagency council that would guide, coordinate, and track implementation of federal actions on climate change preparedness and resilience. Working across the federal government and in partnership with state and local governments, academic and research institutions, and the private and nonprofit sectors, the council would provide expertise to:
- Assist with identification and assessment of climate change effects;
- Advise on cost-effective methods to increase preparedness and resiliency of communities, critical economic sectors, infrastructure, and natural resources;
- Integrate climate change science into policies and planning; and
- Implement the recommendations of a new State and Local Leaders Task Force established to inform federal efforts to support climate change preparedness and resilience.
An effective federal response to climate change begins with evidence-based planning and operations that recognize the magnitude of the threat and respond accordingly. American lives, livelihoods, ecosystems, security, and prosperity depend on coordinated, strategic, whole-of-government anticipation, preparation, mitigation, and adaptation in the face of the climate crisis.
In her time in the Senate, Klobuchar has supported a comprehensive approach to combating climate change that would reduce greenhouse gas emissions, and promote the development of energy efficient technologies and homegrown energy resources. As a member of the Senate Climate Action Taskforce, she has fought to ensure that efforts to address the threat of climate change are a part of our nation’s energy and environmental policy. Klobuchar strongly supports the Paris Climate Agreement and has pushed the Administration to rejoin the Agreement. She has also opposed cabinet members who doubt the science of climate change and deny that it is occurring.
In June, at a Senate Agriculture hearing, Klobuchar highlighted the urgent need to help farmers identify conservation techniques that would have the greatest benefit for the climate and farmers’ bottom lines.
In December 2019, Klobuchar, Senator Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH), and 24 of their colleagues urged the administration to reconsider the decision to withdraw the United States from the Paris Climate Agreement. In a letter, Klobuchar and her colleagues highlighted the crisis of climate change and the damage that will be inflicted on Americans for future generations unless immediate action is taken. The Senators urged the administration against ceding U.S. leadership on this issue. The letter was sent as the 25th United Nations Climate Change conference took place in Madrid.
In September 2019, Klobuchar and Senator Jerry Moran (R-KS) announced that provisions based on their legislation to help rural communities’ access renewable energy were included in a comprehensive package that passed the Senate Committee on Energy and Natural Resources. The Expanding Access to Sustainable Energy (EASE) Act would assist rural communities and rural electric cooperatives overcome the barriers to renewable energy storage and grid improvements by providing access to relevant resources and expertise.
In June 2019, Klobuchar introduced new legislation to estimate the impact of federal government contracts on climate change. The Buy Clean Transparency Act would address greenhouse gas emissions associated with international trade by determining the emissions associated with bids for federal government contracts focused on public projects. The legislation would not only help mitigate climate change—it would also create good jobs and benefit domestic manufacturers who engage in sustainable practices but whose efforts have been underappreciated during bids for federal projects.
In May 2019, she joined her colleagues to introduce the Clean Energy for America Act, legislation that would consolidate the current 44 energy incentives into three technology-neutral provisions that encourage clean electricity, clean transportation, and energy efficiency.
As a senior member of the Senate Agriculture Committee Klobuchar successfully pushed for key climate provisions in the 2018 Farm Bill, including provisions to increase acres in the Conservation Reserve Program (CRP) by 3 million acres, invest in renewable energy programs including the Rural Energy for America Program (REAP), protect native prairies by fixing a loophole in the “Sodsaver” program, and improve the use of conservation data so that farmers are able to make better choices about conservation practices that benefit their yields and the environment - based on her Agriculture Data Act with Senator Thune.