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Wildfires prompt climate change bill

Wildfires in the west and hurricanes on the gulf coast have prompted U.S. Rep. Jan Schakowsky of Evanston to join a representative from California in introducing new environmental legislation.

I wildfire map today from the federal Incident Information System.

Wildfires in the west and hurricanes on the gulf coast prompted U.S. Rep. Jan Schakowsky of Evanston to join a representative from California in introducing new environmental legislation today.

The Future Generations Protection Act, Schakowsky and Rep. Nanette Diaz Barragán say, would help ensure a rapid shift to clean renewable energy by stopping further expansion of fracking and new fossil fuel infrastructure.

Schakowsky is chair of the Energy and Commerce Consumer Protection and Commerce Subcommittee and Diaz Barragán is a member of the Energy and Commerce Committee.

Th bill would ban greenhouse gas emissions from all new power plants, stop hydraulic fracking, and ban crude oil and natural gas exports. It would also prohibit the Federal Energy Resources Commission from approving new liquified natural gas terminal siting or construction, unless doing so would reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

“The wildfires currently devastating our country and heightened hurricane threat prove we can’t afford to wait any longer to act on climate change,” Schakowsky said. “These once-in-a-generation disasters are now normal occurrences and securing our environmental health and prosperity for future generations requires that we address the source of the problem—fossil fuels.”

“Congress must be thorough when it comes to passing legislation that has the potential to cause mass labor displacement and pair this bill with a jobs package,” she added. “The Future Generations Protection Act is a critical step toward creating opportunities for more economically viable solutions and a cleaner, healthier future for all.”

“Unchecked expansion of fossil fuel development is putting our climate, our health, and our communities at risk. We have no time to waste to transition away from dirty fossil fuels to a clean energy economy that works for all of us,” said Kelly Martin, Director of the Sierra Club’s Beyond Dirty Fuels campaign. “We applaud Representative Schakowsky for her leadership in proposing ambitious action to make this transition a reality.”

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