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Tonko to Lead Key Climate Subcommittee

Upstate NY congressman elected to chair powerful Energy & Commerce Subcommittee on Environment & Climate Change

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Washington, January 15, 2019 | comments

WASHINGTONCongressman Paul D. Tonko has just been elected by his colleagues on the powerful House Energy & Commerce Committee to serve as Chair of the Subcommittee on the Environment and Climate Change. This subcommittee has exclusive jurisdiction over the Clean Air Act and will be at the forefront of tackling climate change and carbon pollution. Tonko has been developing a framework for climate action over the past year with input from climate experts and numerous industry, social and environmental stakeholders.

“Climate change is a threat to the American people, our military and countless jobs and industries throughout our U.S. economy,” said Tonko. “We don’t have the time or resources to let this President and his allies in Congress sit on their hands for another two years while historic hurricanes, wildfires, illnesses such as Lyme disease and countless other climate-driven threats ravage our nation. As an engineer in Congress, I look forward to working with my colleagues to put evidence before politics so that we can finally take bold, necessary action to address the growing climate crisis and protect the American people.”

As ranking member of the subcommittee during the 115th Congress, Tonko was a leading voice in bipartisan efforts to reauthorize critical EPA programs for drinking water and brownfields while organizing House Democratic to oppose rollbacks of clean air and climate protections. He has stated his intention to build on these efforts in the new Congress.

“Environmental threats are not just a public health concern, they’re also an economic one,” Tonko continued. “We need to understand and work to avoid the mounting costs of climate inaction and environmental mismanagement, fight back against suspicious Trump Administration rollbacks of clean air and climate rules, and advance legislation that will significantly reduce emissions. As broad awareness of these challenges grows, I am confident that we can continue the bipartisan spirit of the subcommittee as we continue conducting oversight and restoring critical expired programs.”

The Subcommittee on Environment & Climate Change has jurisdiction over critical environmental statutes, including the Clean Air Act, the Safe Drinking Water Act, the Toxic Substances Control Act, the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act, and Superfund. A routine step, the full Democratic caucus is expected to ratify the results of today’s election in the coming days. Tonko was also selected to serve on the Energy & Commerce subcommittees on Energy and on Oversight and Investigations, continuing his service from the 115th Congress.


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