Millions of Americans are experiencing the devastating effects of a record-setting heatwave that’s moving across the country. In fact, climate scientists confirmed last week that July is on track to be the hottest month in recorded history. These extreme temperatures that are becoming more intense and more frequent are a direct result of the climate crisis – and our failure to take steps sooner to address it.
If we do not act fast, these extreme weather events are only going to get worse. And climate experts agree that one of the most effective things that we, as a nation, can do to combat this growing crisis is to reduce the harmful emissions that are causing it.
One of the most significant drivers of our changing climate is the release of methane into our atmosphere. As a greenhouse gas, methane is 80x more potent than carbon dioxide and it, alone, is responsible for about one third of the warming that’s taking place around the globe.
Every one of us has a responsibility to do what we can to combat the climate crisis.
As the top Democrat on the House Energy and Climate subcommittee, cutting our nation’s methane emissions is one of my top priorities. And I was honored, last week, to speak at the White House’s first-ever Methane Summit, which brought together leading experts from across the country to address the urgent need to lower our methane emissions immediately.
Nearly one third of our country’s methane emissions come from the production of oil and gas. And if we are going to get serious about cutting our methane emissions, we have to take steps now to prevent the release of this harmful pollutant from drilling sites across the U.S. One of the first pieces of legislation President Biden signed into law shortly after taking office, was a bill I led to drastically reduce methane emissions from oil and gas drilling sites across the country. As I told those gathered for last week’s summit, we have to do more to build upon the progress we’ve made with that legislation. We need to expand the use of advanced technologies to detect and prevent leaks along the entire supply chain. We need to plug the thousands of orphaned oil and gas wells that are located around the country, and we need to eliminate the oil industry’s practice of routine flaring at drilling sites.
Every one of us has a responsibility to do what we can to combat the climate crisis. I look forward to continuing to work with the administration and all those involved in last week’s summit to implement the common-sense solutions that were discussed and eventually eliminate these harmful emissions once and for all.
Unfortunately, instead of working with us to eliminate the release of this harmful pollutant in our atmosphere, House Republicans have remained focused on eliminating women’s right to abortion care.
As part of their effort to criminalize abortion care throughout the U.S., House Republicans have hijacked this year’s appropriations process and have included provisions in each of this year’s must-pass budget bills to further restrict women’s right to access the care they need. Just last week, they passed legislation to ban the Dept. of Veterans Affairs from providing abortion care to veterans. And as soon as Congress returns, they are preparing to advance legislation that will take away many women’s ability to access mifepristone – a last resort for millions living under abortion bans.
Quietly hijacking these critical funding bills to try to advance an extreme anti-abortion agenda that a vast majority of Americans oppose is reprehensible. The American people should be outraged by what House Republicans are doing, and I will be fighting every day, in every way possible, to stop them.
Rep. Diana DeGette serves the people of Colorado’s First Congressional District.
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