Seventeen Republican members of Congress signed a resolution Wednesday to look for “economically viable” ways to combat climate change. Signatories include politicians from some of the states most vulnerable to the impacts of global warming and sea level rise, including Florida, New York, Virginia, and New Jersey.
The resolution, which is non-binding, calls on Congress to use “American ingenuity, innovation, and exceptionalism” to study and address the issue of human-driven climate change, citing the “conservative principle to protect, conserve, and be good stewards of our environment.” It was spearheaded by Representatives Elise Stefanik of New York, Carlos Curbelo of Florida, and Ryan Costello of Pennsylvania. Together, the signatories represent just 7 percent of GOP members in the House.
The resolution is at odds with statements made by President Donald Trump and members of his administration. Trump has called global warming a hoax, and has pledged to eliminate several Obama-era climate policies and programs. He is expected to announce cuts to automobile fuel-efficiency standards this week. The new head of the Environmental Protection Agency, Scott Pruitt, said last week he doesn’t believe carbon dioxide emissions are the primary contributor to global warming.
Resolution co-sponsor Curbelo called Pruitt’s statements “disconcerting.”
“What he said was akin to saying the earth is flat in 2017,” he told Reuters upon the new resolution’s release. “We must insist on evidence-based and science-based policies.”