Climate Week En Review January 12, 2018

January 10, 2018

Have you thawed out yet? 35 degrees felt balmy the other day but it is winter and winter should be cold, so... onto the news.

This week's must read: Even California leaders fail to grasp climate change (San Francisco Chronicle) Key excerpt from this opinion piece by our friend at R Street: "we still must grapple with the fact that climate change will make some places less desirable to live. This is reflected in rising insurance rates and declining property values."

This week's must watch: Is climate change making winters more severe?

Maryland joins coalition: Maryland's GOP governor Larry Hogan committed to joining a bipartisan coalition of 14 states aiming to meet the goals set by the Paris Climate Agreement. The U.S. Climate Alliance was formed in June after President Donald Trump announced his intention to withdraw from the international climate accord. In touting Maryland's stringent clean air standards—the state is on track to meet its goal of reducing greenhouse gas emissions by 25 percent by 2020—Hogan stressed "the importance of aggressive but balanced action in states, communities, and businesses."

"The need for multi-state collaboration and international leadership on climate change grows stronger every day," he wrote in a letter to the coalition's executive director. Two other Republican governors have joined, Vermont Gov. Phil Scott and Massachusetts Gov. Charlie Baker. "As long as the U.S. Climate Alliance adds value, shows true bipartisanship, and avoids Washington D.C.'s politics-as-usual, corrosive tactics and distractions, we will gladly invest our time and energy with state colleagues for this cause," Hogan wrote.

Climate caucus grows: The first new GOP members to join the House Climate Solutions Caucus in 2018 are South Carolina's Rep. Mark Sanford and New York's Rep. Dan Donovan. "For over 30 years, I have seen the ever-so-gradual effects of rising sea levels at our farm on the South Carolina coast. I've watched once-thriving pine trees die in that fragile zone between uplands and salt marshes," Sanford said in a statement. "To me, the idea that we should be good stewards of what we've been given simply makes sense." Donovan noted the devastating impacts Superstorm Sandy had on his state in 2012. "Five years ago, Superstorm Sandy devastated Staten Island and other parts of New York City — and just this year we saw hurricanes and wildfires ravage our nation," he said. "Extreme weather events pose a significant risk to the safety of millions of Americans, businesses and properties, and we must act now to confront these challenges." Floridians Rep. Carlos Curbelo and Rep. Ted Deutch founded the bipartisan caucus as a meeting point for members to discuss—and act upon—climate policy. The group is up to 66 members, 33 from each party.

Speaking of the caucus, member Rep. Darrell Issa has announced he will retire at the end of his term. Stay tuned as we profile each GOP member in the caucus throughout the year.

Schwarzenegger/Mayes team up: California's reigning moderate Republicans—former Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger and Assemblyman Chad Mayes, the self-described conservative chased from his leadership position last year for negotiating with the current governor on the state's cap and trade program—are collaborating on a coalition, New Way California, with an aim to reform the state GOP. "There's so many people in California who feel like they have no place to go," Mayes said. "The old way isn't working and it's time for a new way....We're not going to grow as a party if we expect people to agree with us 100 per cent of the time."

Climate jester: Kentucky Gov. Matt Bevin is the first climate jester of 2018 for his tweet crediting President Donald Trump for ending global warming.

We respectfully refer the governor to this lesson on weather vs. climate.

Thanks for reading! See you next week.