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House Climate Crisis Action Plan Adopts Case Measures on Oceans and Coral Reefs

The Action Plan is the product of the first-ever Congressional panel formed specifically to address the climate crisis

Washington, June 30, 2020

(Honolulu, HI) – Two measures introduced by Congressman Ed Case to tackle the effects of climate change are adopted in a report released today by Congress’ first-ever committee dedicated exclusively to climate change. 

“Our House Select Committee on the Climate Crisis, formed last year at the outset of our current two-year Congress, came out with a revolutionary report today on the realities of climate change and the best ways forward,” said Case.

“I’m reassured that the role of our world’s oceans was prominent, including adoption of two of my bills: H.R. 3384, the Coral Reef Sustainability Through Innovation Act of 2019, and H.R. 6738, the Coral Reef Conservation Reauthorization Act of 2020.”

Case said the Committee’s Climate Crisis Action Plan calls on Congress to enact legislation and implement other recommendations in four overall subject areas :

  • Grow Our Economy and Put Americans Back to Work in Clean Energy Jobs
  • Protect the Health of All Families
  • Make Sure Our Communities and Farmers Can Withstand the Impacts of Climate Change
  • Protect America’s Land and Waters for the Next Generation

According to an independent analysis, the Climate Crisis Action Plan would save more than 60,000 American lives every year by 2050 as a result of reduced air pollution, as well as nearly $8 trillion saved through 2050 as a result of health and climate benefits.

“Our Select Committee’s plan would put the country on a path to net-zero carbon pollution by 2050, if not earlier, said Case.  

“It would power economic recovery through clean energy investment and family-sustaining jobs and address the legacy of environmental injustice harming America’s low-income communities and communities of color.”

The Select Committee also highlighted the importance of protecting ecologically important areas, including the Papahānaumokuākea Marine National Monument in the Northwestern Hawaiian Islands.

Additionally, the plan urged the federal government to build on the foundation of states’ actions, calling out Hawai’i’s laws to utilize 100% renewable energy and be carbon neutral by 2045.

Page 471 of the Action Plan report (attached) highlights the measures introduced by  Congressman Case:

“Rep. Ed Case (D-HI) introduced H.R. 3384, the Coral Reef Sustainability Through Innovation Act of 2019, which would support practices to preserve, sustain, restore, monitor, understand, and research coral reef ecosystems by directing the 12 federal agencies on the U.S. Coral Reef Task Force to fund and administer a coral prize competition.

“Rep. Case also introduced H.R. 6738, the Coral Reef Conservation Reauthorization Act of 2020, which would reauthorize and modernize the Coral Reef Conservation Act of 2000, including strengthening the response to coral bleaching and other impacts; expanding grants for local coral reef conservation projects; and authorizing DOI to research and conserve coral resources.”

The Action Plan further highlights Hawai‘i’s efforts to deal with the climate crisis in the following ways:

  • (Page 13, 429 and 465 all reference the Northwestern Hawaiian Islands as a major monument and protected area) “Congress should establish a national goal of protecting at least 30% of all U.S. lands and ocean areas by 2030, prioritizing federal and nonfederal lands and waters with high ecological, biodiversity, and carbon sequestration value.

    Currently, just 12% of U.S. lands and 26% of the U.S. ocean—primarily marine monuments in the remote Western Pacific or northwestern Hawaii— are permanently protected.”

  • (Page 24) Under “Building on a Foundation of State and Local Leadership” - “Hawaii passed legislation requiring 100% electricity generation from renewable energy sources by 2045 and setting an economy-wide goal of carbon neutrality by 2045."

  • (Page 219) Under “Building Block: Ensure Diverse Participation in [Department of Energy research, development, demonstration, and deployment] DOE RDD&D Programs” - “Recommendation: Congress should direct DOE to ensure that grant recipients for existing and new

RDD&D programs represent a variety of types of institutions of higher education by broadly disseminating grant information and conducting outreach to minority-serving institutions, including historically Black colleges and universities, Hispanic-serving institutions, tribal colleges and universities, and Alaska Native- and Native Hawaiian-serving institutions."

The House Select Committee on the Climate Crisis was created by House Speaker Nancy Pelosi at the outset of the 116th session of Congress to make science-based policy recommendations to the standing committees of jurisdiction on how to solve the climate crisis.

The Committee’s Action Plan will be utilized as the overall big-picture roadmap for specific legislative and other policy initiatives.

The Select Committee report is here.

Case measures can be found here.

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