Reps. Israel (D-NY) and Inslee (D-WA)
Congressmen Jay Inslee (D-WA) and Steve Israel (D-NY) today announced the formation of a caucus of thirty-five progressive House members, the Sustainable Energy and Environment Coalition. In their release, they acknowledged the severity of the climate crisis and the need for “bold, aggressive action”:
The 111th Congress convened in a perfect storm. The melting of the Arctic ice cap is speeding up toward a point of no return and the economy is in turmoil. We are in need of bold, aggressive action, and that’s exactly what the Sustainable Energy and Environment Coalition is about.
Inslee and Israel, both long-time leaders on sustainable energy and the environment, will co-chair the caucus. Inslee, who has continually promoted a space-race level investment in a new energy economy since his election in 1992, was one of the organizers of a statement of progressive climate principles signed by 152 members last year. Israel, elected to Congress in 2000, “has been framing energy as a national security issue” with his Next Generation Energy Plan.
Vice-chairs for 2009 and 2010 have been named: Reps. Paul Tonko (D-NY) and Chellie Pingree (D-ME) will be the vice-chairs for speakers; Reps. Peter Welch (D-VT) and Paul Hodes (D-NH) for outreach; Reps. Jim Langevin (D-RI) and David Loebsack (D-IA) for membership; Reps. Jared Polis (D-CO) and Niki Tsongas (D-MA) as whips.
The coalition, whose mission is “to advance policies that promote clean energy technology innovation and domestic manufacturing, develop renewable energy resources, create green collar jobs throughout the product supply-chain, help arrest global warming and protect our nation’s clean air, water and natural environment,” formed last fall “when Inslee and Israel called a meeting for like-minded members of Congress to discuss how they could impact the 2008 House energy and economic recovery bills.”
UPDATE: Full list of the founding members of the Sustainable Energy and Environment Coalition: Read more