Weekly Briefing: Senate Budget Committee Focuses On Climate

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February 22, 2023

Senate Budget Committee hearing focuses on climate costs 740690a1547fa074e140f0f3e05184a1-huge-le

Last week, the Senate Budget Committee held its first hearing of the new Congress. Their focus? Climate! The hearing explored climate-related economic risks and their impact on the federal budget and the global economy. 

“This was an important hearing because climate disasters, climate policy and inaction on climate all have significant impacts on the federal budget and it is important for Congress to acknowledge this fact. We appreciate the leadership of Chairman Whitehouse in making this the focus of the first hearing of the 118th Congress,” said CCL’s Vice President of Government Affairs, Ben Pendergrass. “Republicans and Democrats alike engaged on this issue in the hearing and we hope the committee will be a place for productive discourse on climate solutions.”

Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI), the committee’s Chairman, said, “If we don’t get this right, it’s a $180 trillion cost to the global economy. If we do get it right, it’s $40 trillion in added value.” 

Well-known Republicans chimed in as well, as seen in this highlights reel from the committee. Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC) said, “Climate change is real, and is affecting quality of life on the planet over time. We all agree with that.”

Sen. Mitt Romney (R-UT) highlighted his personal favorite solution: a carbon price.

“Almost everything we talk about and get excited about has almost no real impact globally except a price on carbon, and of course, investments in new technology and innovation,” Sen. Romney said. 

You can let your member of Congress know that you think a price on carbon is important, too. Use our tool below to write to Congress about the importance of a carbon price. 


In other news this week: media_lever_icon_color50X50.png
  • Financial incentives in the IRA: Tax credits and rebates for homeowners in the Inflation Reduction Act (IRA) will be key in achieving building electrification and efficiency. CCL Research Coordinator Dana Nuccitelli breaks down those incentives
  • CCLers appear on climate podcast: CCL Research Coordinator Dana Nuccitelli and CCL Communications Specialist Steve Valk recently appeared on an episode of the podcast “A Climate Change.” 
  • Bipartisanship key in solving climate: Former Republican Congressmen Ryan Costello and Francis Rooney published an op-ed in Politico last week, calling to make climate change a bipartisan priority. “As a divided Congress gets underway, the environmental movement must confront a fundamental, and perhaps uncomfortable, reality: The U.S. will not be able to successfully address climate change without bipartisanship,” the op-ed reads.
  • CCL Utah event discusses state climate initiatives: Recent CCL awareness campaigns about protecting the Great Salt Lake have spurred an influx of new volunteers to join CCL Utah. CCLer Tom Moyer discusses building relationships with new volunteers and state legislators alike.
  • Getting grasstops endorsements: CCLer Norma Morrison shares advice for volunteers hoping to get big endorsements from leaders and influencers.


Take action this week  endorsement_lever_icon_color50X50.png

If you have a little time: Ask your member of Congress to support the RISEE Act 0d4c7bb0eea608f44c5a7de9fdf03c1d-huge-we
The RISEE Act was recently introduced into the 118th Congress. The Reinvesting in Shoreline Economies and Ecosystems Act would create a revenue-sharing model for offshore wind energy, in addition to other funding mechanisms for shoreline-based organizations. Write to your member of Congress and urge them to support the RISEE Act, and if they’re already a supporter, be sure to thank them.

If you have more time: Host a film screening
A fun way to introduce friends and neighbors to CCL is by hosting a film screening. Many of the 25 films in CCL’s film screening guide offer discussion questions and touch on topics that align with CCL’s policy agenda. For more information on how to get started, check out our February Action Sheet

If you have more time: Register for our June conference
Sometimes, it can feel like you’re tackling climate change alone — but it doesn’t have to be that way! CCL’s in-person conference on June 10-13 in Washington, D.C., is a great way to meet like-minded volunteers who will inspire you and send you back home feeling energized. Make new friends, hear from inspiring speakers, and learn new advocacy strategies with your fellow CCLers this June. Register now. 

Featured Chapter This Week ccl_wrench_color50X50.png 28c41876e99c9e3063e09956bb84823a-huge-fe

The Santa Cruz, California chapter of CCL has been hard at work educating the community about climate change. The chapter recently tabled at the Transit Equity Day event in their community.

“A small group has mighty heft,” explains Santa Cruz chapter leader Lynda Marin. “The deeply engaged few are so tenaciously hopeful, creative, tireless, and good-humored. We’ve engaged with the Monterey chapter to join us for really successful tabling events.” 

The Santa Cruz chapter also gave an En-ROADS presentation to Rep. Jimmy Panetta (D-CA-19), who has previously served on the House Agriculture Committee.

“We have been doing a deep dive into agriculture and forestry in preparation for Rep. Panetta’s work on the farm bill,” Lynda says. “One of us is deeply engaged in a local effort to save some heritage trees in downtown Santa Cruz and is about to recruit more of us into that effort.” 

Great work, Santa Cruz!

Check out your chapter on CCL Community’s Action Tracker and share what you’ve been doing.



Upcoming Trainings speechbubblequestion_color_50X50.png20ad0884cc6824eeecb859faec1000d9-huge-tr

2/23: Permitting Reform Local Experiences — Join CCLers from around the country who will share their experiences from state and local campaigns to support clean energy permitting reform. Join us!

3/2: Home Electrification and Efficiency Opportunities from the Inflation Reduction Act — Learn from SEAL award-winning CCL Research Coordinator Dana Nuccitelli about the technologies and incentives available to make your home more electric and efficient. Additionally, we’ll share resources available from CCL for educating your friends, families, and communities about these opportunities. Join us!    

Need training on the basics? Catch our next session of Core Volunteer Training, made for newer volunteers:

2/28: Planning & Practicing Your Lobby Meeting — Join Kesten Bozinovic, CCL’s Director of Congressional Liaisons and Lobby Days, for an online training about important considerations for lobby preparation, and what an actual meeting with your member of Congress looks like. Join us!

To see other topics and past trainings, visit the Training Topics page of CCL Community.

Find your CCL chapter | Check out our Action Teams | Browse upcoming events


Posted by Katie Zakrzewski on Feb 22, 2023 12:53 PM America/Los_Angeles

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