Cap & Trade Most Important to Climate Change Caucus

By Published On: December 7, 2007

As the Senate committee passed a key climate change bill, a House caucus headed by Representatives Wayne Gilchrest (R-MD) and John Olver (D-MA) to facilitate climate change legislation is lobbying members of Congress individually. Focusing on members’ key interests, the bipartisan group is trying to get climate change legislation out by the end of the year, according to Gilchrest. “The caucus is, in an organized fashion, lobbying our colleagues,” Gilchrest told Circuit. Among the various versions of legislation–a bill by both Gilchrest and Olver that mirrors the Senate’s instituting a cap-and-trade system is the most important issue, Gilchrest said. Brian Anderson, Olver’s legislative director agreed. Approaching members individually allows the caucus to focus on their specific constituencies, Gilchrist said. “Some see it as a green vote.” Others who represent urban areas see it as a way to clean up smog. Farm representatives see it as a way to use carbon sequestration. And, others see it as energy independence. The caucus approach found a far better reception in Congressional offices this year compared to years past, according to Anderson. “There’s a much greater member awareness and interest in the issue,” he said.

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