Rep. Paul Tonko
Chair, House Subcommittee on Environment and Climate Change

Climate change is gaining attention fast in Congress as the Green New Deal makes waves. It’s a top priority for Democrats, although they may differ over the exact approach for curbing carbon emissions. And even among Republicans there seems to be more talk about backing cleaner forms of energy.

In this edition of the Columbia Energy Exchange, host Bill Loveless sits down with Representative Paul Tonko, the chairman of the House Subcommittee on Environment and Climate Change, the place where legislation on climate change begins.

In fact, the New York Democrat is well on his way to crafting bills. He’s unveiled a set of principles that will guide his actions and laid out a two-part strategy for legislation, starting with relatively modest measures with potential for widespread support, and then moving on to greater challenges, like putting a price on carbon.

Bill met with Chairman Tonko in his office the other day, amid a flurry of activity over climate change at both ends of Congress. Senate Republicans had just voted to reject the Green New Deal even as a leading Republican announced legislation for a New Manhattan Project for Clean Energy. And in the House, Speaker Nancy Pelosi was spotlighting a measure reaffirming the United States’ commitment to the Paris climate agreement.

Bill asked the chairman what he made of all this and how he intended to navigate his way forward on this controversial issue. They talked about the Green New Deal, his legislative intentions, his look back on past attempts by Congress to deal with climate change, and his very personal insights into the phenomena taking place.

view transcript

[00:00:02]
Bill Loveless: Climate change is gaining attention fast in congress as the green new deal makes waves. It’s a top priority for democrats although, they may differ over the exact approach for curbing carbon emissions and even among republicans, there seems to be more talk about backing cleaner forms of energy. Hello and welcome to the Columbia Energy Exchange. A weekly podcast from the Center on Global Energy Policy at Columbia University. From Washington, I’m Bill Loveless. Our guest today is representative Paul Tonko, the chairman of the house subcommittee on environment and climate change. The place where legislation on climate change begins. In fact, the New York democrat is well on his way to crafting bills. He’s unveiled a set of principles that will guide his actions and laid out a two part strategy for legislation. Starting with relatively modest measures with potential for widespread support and then moving onto greater challenges like putting a price on carbon. I sat down with chairman Tonko in his office the other day and made a flurry of activity over climate change at both ends of congress. Senate republicans had just voted to reject the green new deal even as a leading republican announced legislation for a new Manhattan project for clean energy. And in the house, speaker Nancy Pelosi was spotlighting a measure reaffirming the United States’s commitment to the Paris climate agreement. I ask the chairman what do you made of all of these and how he intended to navigate his way forward on this controversial issue. We talked about the green new deal, his legislative intentions, his look back on past attempted by congress to deal with climate change and his very personal insights into the phenomena taking place. Here is our conversation. I hope you enjoy it. Chairman Paul Tonko, welcome to the Columbia Energy Exchange.
[00:01:58]
Paul Tonko: Thank you Bill. It’s a pleasure to join you.
[00:02:00]
Bill Loveless: Mr. Chairman, you’ve been a member of congress since 2009 and active on energy and environmental issues since you arrived on Capitol Hill. But your interest in the topic really preceded your arrival here in congress. Tell us about that.
[00:02:18]
Paul Tonko: Absolutely. I served as the chair of the energy committee in the New York state assembly for the last 15 of my 25 years at the capital in Albany, New York and you know, represented a district that included the electric city, connected in New York. So, it’s kind of like this hand in glove fit. But also after that I’ve served with the governor of the state of New York, governor[00:02:46] as his president and CEO of NYSERDA, New York State Energy Research and Development Authority. I did a plethora of items in that zone, including the management portfolio management of innovation and renewables for the state of New York and also did studies on the grid and we also hosted public, private partnerships on energy innovation. So, it was a fun assignment to be able to go from orchestrating the efforts to create policy and then see that policy implemented at NYSERDA which by the way has a national reputation.
[00:03:28]
Bill Loveless: That’s right.
[00:03:29]
Paul Tonko: There have been many colleagues who have asked me on the floor when they hear about NYSERDA how would I start that up? How did I sort of come to be?
[00:03:35]
Bill Loveless: Just briefly explain to our listeners who NYSERDA is?
[00:03:37]
Paul Tonko: Well, NYSERDA is a, it combined the energy office with some of the more innovative con cements that were coming across the energy policy area and we deal with the private sector in these opportunities for them to develop prototypes. We’ll introduce opportunities for them to bid into a process that enables them to develop their innovation, their ideas and we also are there again to manage the opportunities for renewables. Took the effort and really gave an aggressive moment so that we could go forward in. A lot of R&D that is done too. So, it’s a good think tank for the state’s energy purposes and you know, when you deal with policy in New York, you really are dealing with a microcosm of perhaps the nation. We have remotely rural areas. We have huge metro areas, New York City and its suburbs. We have, you know, strong public power entities and hydro facilities, nuclear facilities. Just a total review if you will of energy options that are out there. So, all of that trading, I think was good to, then arrived here and work on a national, from a national perspective on the energy policy.
[00:04:59]
Bill Loveless: And I’m just thinking too, you’re also an engineer.
[00:05:01]
Paul Tonko: Yeah. Well, that makes you an endangered species in Washington. But I enjoy that background because so many of the issues, I think need to be addressed analytically and so it’s fun to roll up your sleeves, embrace the academics and know that some of the areas, including those of climate change need to be addressed by physics not politics. That we need to be, you know, very strong in how we apply science to the policy development and to make certain that, that will work because we’re dealing with commodities like energy supplies and they cannot be put at risk. We require those supplies for home place, for school place, for business place and generally to determine quality of life. So we want to make certain that, you know, that it’s done in a very thoughtful way that embraces again science in evidence.
[00:05:57]
Bill Loveless: Right, right. Well, as we speak, it’s been quite a week here for climate change on Capitol Hill. Among the things we’ve watched, we saw the senate reject the green new deal by a 57 to 0 vote with almost all of the democrats voting present on that. But at the same time, we saw a senior republican senator Lamar Alexander of Tennessee introduce a bill, he called the New Manhattan project for clean energy after acknowledge the worries of climate change and back here in the house, one of your colleagues Cathy Caster introduced a bill in the house to hold the U.S. to its Paris agreement commitments. What do you make of all these?
[00:06:37]
Paul Tonko: I think it’s great. I think it’s showing that there is great interest. Some of the efforts in the senate, I thought was a bit of a light-heartedness that addressed maybe it was a reaction to the green new deal. But you know, for the most part, I think the people of this country, the Americans have said, I believe in climate change. We need to do something and I’m very much excited about the assignment to be chair of the subcommittee on environment and climate change that reports to the standing committee of energy and commerce. And as you just made mention Cathy Caster is leading the upper for the select committee and I’ve worked with Cathy. We’re both on energy and commerce. The congresswoman and I have, we appreciate the friendship that we share. But we also have been involved in some work fronts together and I have no doubt that she will be a great leader with the select committee. We have some very sound minds on energy and environment background that are on that committee. Some of them as freshmen appointed to the select committee. But I, you know, I welcome the passion that many have brought to this arena especially with this freshman class, the green new deal has raised consciousness from coast to coast. It supports passion, the passion over flows on this issue. And I’d say, it’s about time because the president has been alerted by multi-agencies to accept this whole climate change for what it is. The assessment that’s required to be done routinely of its latest edition of assessment review. They said, it’s real, it’s more real than perhaps we thought. And it has a great bit of urgency surrounding it. So, we need to go forward. I welcome all of these interest. I welcome by the green new deal and I welcome their passion. Many of the people advocating for, they’ve listed a series of principles, most of which, I embrace. But I see my role as subcommittee chair and the subcommittee in general to design and create discover the tool kit, the tools that we will require in order to achieve the goals. Some of them lofty that have been established. But we are going to conduct that in a way that welcomes as we labeled it, you know, a lot of thousand solutions blossom, bloom in this effort, just kind of spring touch. You know, a thousand solutions bloom and you know, we will look at these all based on science and evidence. It’s too important an arena to treat it otherwise. And again to the urgency. I hear it. I’ve heard it over and over. Over the past several years.
[00:09:34]
Bill Loveless: When you talk to folks, especially some of the younger colleagues who are strong advocates of the green new deal, do you feel that they are patient enough that they are willing to accept the process that takes place here. Do legislation properly.
[00:09:50]
Paul Tonko: I think that’s the challenge before us. I think we need to build the coalition that will come together because it is that urgent and that important. You know, I’ve witnessed what climate change has done in my home district. You know, I’ve sat with farmers who talked about not only losing an entire crop of vegetables when they were impacted in late August of the year. Almost into September. That’s harvest time and to have witness not only the destruction of that crop, those crops that were ready to be harvested but also the erosion of soil, you know the rich dirt that through the thousands of years that have been in the process creating, it’s richness there. It’s a bread basket of the revolutionary war. So you can imagine the rich of the soil. For that to be eroded away for the crops to be you know taken and totally destroyed. To see farms destroyed where some of them were the realm of historic things, homes in a way. You see this devastation and so, yes, there is urgency but yes there is also principled approaches. As an engineer leading this effort, I want to make certain that we have evaluations that will move us through the steps that we are going to do. We recently…
[00:09:50]
Bill Loveless: We have principles right, you just recently released a nine principles that will guide your process a little bit and you had sort of a two step process as I understand the legislation. Tell me a little bit about that approach.
[00:11:30]
Paul Tonko: Sure. Yeah, we put a framework of principles together. That was driven primarily by about 18 months worth of dialogue, discussion with various perspectives. I was then ranker.
[00:11:42]
Bill Loveless: I was gonna say, you were doing this even when you were on the _____ [00:11:45].
[00:11:46]
Paul Tonko: Yeah, we had no idea what was going to happen here in the house. Which party would control the house. What size majority would that be. We had none of those ideas that you know, we just assumed that we are gonna go forward and tackle this issue. Because whether we were in the majority or minority, the time has more than come to address this issue. And so, we brought in this perspectives from labor for instance, from the business community. International business community, governors, local officials, environmentalists from the green perspective. Bringing all these thought together, like if we do this, one of those concerns that you have, one of the proposed solutions, you know, one of the priorities and as we have these discussions, they let us into creating somewhat the guidelines and parameters that should accompany any and all plans. Put all the plans on the table. We want to be open-minded about this and we want to be across all sectors. Economy wide, market based. But we will have principles that will be serving as evaluation mechanisms.
[00:12:56]
Bill Loveless: And you mentioned, the number of these principles included science based targets, greenhouse gas neutrality, ensure economic changes bring good working conditions while protecting energy intensive industries, encourage innovation and technology, address inequities that some communities are more vulnerable to climate change.
[00:13:15]
Paul Tonko: Well, environmental injustices have occurred across the country in various neighborhoods and here is the time to do it right. We want to make certain no matter what income strata is part of your household, we want to make certain there is opportunity there. If there has been injustice with environmental measurement, let’s take care of that. So, this is an evaluation exercise. The principles that we put forth, the framework that we unveiled in Baltimore at the climate change leadership conference with hundreds of people with various perspectives, we’re really thrilled with the feedback that we got. You know, we wanted to start that whole development of momentum based on everyone now coming together. We want to be open-minded so that we can build that coalition. Look, I said science based and evidence based but we also know that the best of scientific or business strategy, the professionalism that we need to put forth, but on the other side of the equation is politics and what’s real. You know, I am not gonna go forward and take us down the road where we can’t achieve. So, it’s 218 votes that we need to build.
[00:14:25]
Bill Loveless: Yeah. I find this interesting particularly how you plan to approach this now. Particularly taking the politics of the issue which can be very difficult, very devisive into consideration.
[00:14:35]
Paul Tonko: Well, but what I sensed and I wasn’t the only one. Many people are saying they felt that the republicans, the subcommittee and the standing committee of energy and commerce are beginning to, you know, sound a different message. Innovation, various research. Acknowledging, you know, moving, you can feel the move in from position that was now talking about reality, accepting the concept rather than delaying it or denying it. And so…
[00:14:35]
Bill Loveless: Not necessarily mentioning climate change.
[00:15:15]
Paul Tonko: Well, embracing some of the you know, we are talking about a strategy here that we believe should be done along a two track system. The one track, be in short term, medium term accomplishments that we have the reason to believe could be done in a bipartisan way, bringing the parties together. Energy efficiency, weatherization, conservation, research, modernization of our electric grid system, charging stations, showing up, making harder the infrastructure that exist today and then of course futuristic spin on infrastructure that might include buildings, to retrofit them because of the need to be multi-sector in our approach. Looking at buildings, looking at transportation, looking at power plants. You know, it can’t just be one sector. And so, the other track…
[00:15:15]
Bill Loveless: And you’ve said that those are relatively modest.
[00:16:19]
Paul Tonko: So, some of those, some of those concepts that I just mentioned, already were being verbalized by the members of the minority now in the house. So that leaves me with a sense of encouragement. I’m inspired with that and so we are gonna continue to do these outreach efforts, hearings, round table discussions. You know, various seminars that will enable us to be academic about this but remind people that we’ve got to get moving and I think the general public, you know, when you think of like the efforts made in the house with perhaps a list of ideals or goals which is about aspirational qualities and then the public at the other end, at the outside of the world. Now, between that is us trying to put together the science of it all and the politics of it all. We need to achieve the 218. Our second track by the way will be the longer term and you know.
[00:17:24]
Bill Loveless: And the bigger one, the tougher one to crack.
[00:17:26]
Paul Tonko: Tougher to crack but I think we have that time period from now to 2020 where you know, the president has really not embraced the notion of climate change. That gives us time to do the intense studying and outreach to build a comprehensive climate policy bit of legislation. That comprehensive quality will probably circulate or at least include, circulate around or include a price on carbon because I think that, you know, we need to again use all the tools in the kit. None of these in their individual or singular format will be enough. But I think the whole thing with carbon, the pricing of carbon where you take what has been, carbon pollution comes free. There is no price tag on carbon pollution. Now developing a price that will signal to the market, investments and certainty. Those investments will then spark innovation, all hopefully done at the lowest cost.
[00:18:34]
Bill Loveless: Right and you haven’t settled yet on the particular mechanism whether it was a carbon tax or a cap and trade program, you know as the host past some ten years ago.
[00:18:47]
Paul Tonko: We haven’t but you know, I think that a lot has changed in the ten years since the house last tested this. You have renewables at a far more affordable prices than people ever imagined. You have an economy that is stronger. You have a come back since march of 2009. There has been steady private sector job growth. So there is a stronger, you know post recession economy. You have buy in, the general public is saying, hey it’s not just sea level rising or polar bears and we love our polar bears. But people are seeing this in their backyard. Again the stories from my farmers, the stories from businesses that had inventory at risk. Households that are now impacted are still coming back. They lost precious holdings that you know, were nostalgic that they can’t replace. So, you know, it’s about given us the stretch now for two years to develop that price on carbon. I do think that as we develop that price on carbon we need to invest. There are proposals for dividends for tax mechanisms. I think we may end up. And I think some of those process need to go to the technology and the innovation and the research because the public will demand that in public polls they are demanding that. But our whole effort here is to build a coalition. Build a coalition with labor, with environmentalists, with business, with our colleagues here in Washington and also learning. That’s another thing that’s changed in ten years. We have models now that we can assess. There is short history a bit short but significant history. We’ve got _____ [00:20:43] with a compact of states of the northeast of our country.
[00:20:46]
Bill Loveless: Regional initiatives in the northeast states right?
[00:20:49]
Paul Tonko: Yeah. You’ve got California working with Canada in a compact. So we can measure that. We have European models. You know, I think there is a time now for us to assess what’s happened in these models. They’ve implemented these programs. Their economy did not get destroyed. In fact, it’s grown. And with this effort comes significant jobs.
[00:21:11]
Bill Loveless: Yeah. How do you go about pursuading people of that approach because there still is, especially in Washington, in congress this strong aversion to any, to tax. Anything that’s a tax or smacks of a tax and anything that smacks of a strong regulation like a cap and trade. It’s almost, has a religious aspect to it here in congress. How do you get over that?
[00:21:39]
Paul Tonko: Well, I think we start showing that other areas of the country. We’re going to have a hearing next week with governors and local officials and we are also gonna reach out to businesses eventually to tell us what they’re doing in light of the attempts to withdraw us from the Paris accord. This country isn’t stopping with that and I think we need to look at what other countries are doing that they are taking this issue very seriously and that it’s how to grow an innovation economy. You know, will there be an impact? Yes, there will be an impact but it’s doing at the lowest cost impact possible and still achieving great results will establish some order of certainty or certainty, I should say not some order. Certainty out there. Decades into the future, our principles are called for 2050 no later than 2050 as a year in for the future. If we achieve success before that fine but we know that we have to put these models together. Later this year, we’ll be putting carbon pricing model together and again, we’ll air this and I think we need to build the consensus so that in a coalition format, we can all go out there and sell the wisdom of this. The cost of inaction which was the theme of our first hearing told us that in one word, the cost of inaction is expensive. Talk to the people who have lost their farm operations. Talk to the people who lost their homes. To the people who lost family members. What price tag do we put on that? So, there is a cost today of inaction. I think it’s messaging, it’s telling people look, we are paying for this already and we haven’t placed a price an carbon pollution. Carbon pollution is free in these United States. And there ought to be a price tag on that. There ought to be a cost to polluting and so if we put a price tag on that, if we put a cost on to it, that means that the market begins to respond. We know, if we establish a threshold year of 2050 or sooner. Our principle say 2050 or earlier.
[00:24:05]
Bill Loveless: To implement.
[00:24:07]
Paul Tonko: To reach carbon neutrality. To remove the carbon from our atmosphere. If we do that, we then have a market based, I think ideally a market based response which will determine which are the most effective? Which are the most cost effective ways to achieve these goals? Will it be the transportation sector? Will it be the 48 percentile of pollution clean up in the transportation sector? Will it be the 98 percentile in the electric generating arena, in the power sector. We don’t know. We can’t predict that with accuracy. What will be the cost be, what will the innovation look like? What will research produce but we have the certainty of you know, here we are. This is the carbon pollution reduction certainty. We can’t provide cost certainty or technology certainty. But we give them the tools.
[00:25:07]
Bill Loveless: So the emphasis should be on the extent to which you can reduce carbon.
[00:25:11]
Paul Tonko: Absolutely.
[00:25:12]
Bill Loveless: Rather than on trying to think at this point what should be the actual price.
[00:25:17]
Paul Tonko: Yeah, we shouldn’t say, okay, this is going to be the mix. We’re going down this singular road. We’re not gonna solve this with the power sector alone. We know, there is great contributions from buildings. There is great contributions from the transportation sector. We want to see, you know growth there in how we can respond with charging stations and you know, providing for the infrastructure improvements. We’re talking about advancing infrastructure this year in the house. I know, it’s a goal of the speaker. I know, it’s a goal of the conference, the democratic majority. It’s a goal probably of republicans in both houses, democrats in both houses and the president had spoken to the virtues of infrastructure. Let’s do that but there again, that has to be holistic. We have to go well beyond roads and bridges which have a justified need because of deficiencies. But there is also the electrification of our transportation sector. There is the need to modernize our grid system, our electricity grid system. There is need for broadband and for water infrastructure. I’m saying, let’s weave into the infrastructure debate and discussion and policy development, the green threads that will speak to you know, building innovation, retrofitting buildings for energy efficiency.
[00:26:40]
Bill Loveless: Right.
[00:26:41]
Paul Tonko: Charging stations for the transportation sector and modernization of the grid.
[00:26:48]
Bill Loveless: You were a freshman, I believe when the[00:26:52] bill passed some ten years ago.
[00:26:55]
Paul Tonko: Yeah.
[00:26:58]
Bill Loveless: What did you learn from that episode?
[00:27:01]
Paul Tonko: Well, I learnt that there was a need for communication. There was a need to make it two house.
[00:27:07]
Bill Loveless: Which probably remind our listeners what happened. I mean the bill passed in the house of representatives on a purely a partisan vote.
[00:27:16]
Paul Tonko: And then failed in the senate. So, I learnt the need for messaging. There is a need for both houses responding. We need a two house solution and buy in from the executive branch. So, you know, these are things that you bear in mind as you go forward. But I can very much remember being a newbie in town, being a freshman who, you know, you have to watch how you carry yourself, right. You don’t want to come on too strong. But I had experience and I saw that. And I remember going to dinners at colleagues homes to talk about you know people who are on defense or maybe opposed to the concept and sharing with them what I saw happening in applied application, in an applied way of worked on where we were doing those innovative things and there is ways to tether various outcomes where people won’t be impacted in a very dynamic way by, in a negative fashion by increases for a commodity they rightfully require. But to do it in a way that graduates our involvement with this effort. You know, to repeat myself, we’re already paying significantly for carbon pollution and…
[00:28:34]
Bill Loveless: Right. Maybe you can relate them to some extent some of the patient say, some of the freshman who are now really pushing this so far and back, when you were freshman and came in thinking some stuff needed to be done rather quickly based on your own experience and your own feelings.
[00:28:51]
Paul Tonko: Yeah, well, you know, it was interesting because many people wanted to hear about your experience and that’s a thing that creates confidence and optimism in my heart because people would reach out to you based on your background and we have some very sound minds in this freshman class which is a huge class. But people who are involved in energy in innovation in their work like in their professional capacity, they have a lot to offer. Some of them are on the select committee. You know, people will be sitting down. I hope we can coax the kind of interaction that will build upon like science based, evidence based discussion. Because this is too critical an area. You know, issues like capacity and reliability, affordablity, sustainability.
[00:28:51]
Bill Loveless: Do you think, this is climate, I mean, do you think there is a climate sort of to you in a different way, a climate for that sort of discussion these days?
[00:29:51]
Paul Tonko: Yeah. Good use of words by the way. But there is a climate there and I think that folk understand that we need to do this in a way that won’t walk the energy supplies that we require and will green up our outcomes by coming together and embracing the academics of it and understanding that if we work together, you know, we will be achieving what is a primary challenge out there, urgency.
[00:30:24]
Bill Loveless: Right.
[00:30:26]
Paul Tonko: And there is not much time to waste here. And to those critics that say, well, you’re gonna put America, the U.S. in a non-competitive or you’re gonna dull our competitive edge. I say, look at what’s happening around the world. You know, people acknowledging their climate situation, the climate crisis is real. Climate science is what they are reaching to. People have established models that we can review. We’re not putting us out there in a zone that is U.S. only. It’s gonna be us incorporated in a international setting. And I’m driven by the optimism that came from my adolescence where I was living the world global race on space and it was a commitment. It was resolved by this country where youthful president said look, we’re gonna land a person on the moon not because it’s easy but because it’s hard and we’re gonna invest in technology. We’re going to invest in innovation and we are going to land a person on the moon. When I came in town to serve in congress in 09, 2009, it was the 40th anniversary of Neil Armstrong’s walking on the moon. And I shook his hand and it all clicked. It’s like America at her best when she has a pioneer spirit and we need that pioneer spirit again today. To maintain world leadership in this international economy.
[00:31:55]
Bill Loveless: And that’s so getting back to the green new deal again. I mean, I think for many of those advocates, that’s what they see. They see this as a moon shot and very ambitious and they are very impatient with people who would suggest it might take longer than they anticipate.
[00:32:14]
Paul Tonko: That’s my assignment with the subcommittee. My colleagues at the subcommittee to do it in a science based, evidence based way. And that’s where we are reaching, you know, for all the input. For all the perspectives and doing what we believe most will be the most, will be the most cost effective and doing it in a way that will have to garner the 218 votes because without that no progress will be tested.
[00:32:40]
Bill Loveless: Right. Mr. Chairman before you go, I have one thing, you mentioned that the special select committee and I think for a lot of us watching the process up here on the hill, we wonder how it works. You know, you have this standard committee, energy and commerce and your subcommittee for example and now you have again a special committee as we had ten years ago back when Waxman Markey was passed. I heard you speak of the Canadian embassy recently. You mentioned, you have a very good relationship with chairman Kathy Castor of the special select committee and you said that you see that panel as sort of the marketing arm on the topic and your subcommittee is sort of product development. What did you mean by that?
[00:33:17]
Paul Tonko: Well, you know, I think we both are gonna have the assignment to come up with solutions and hearing from various perspectives. But, you know, I do know that we’re charged with building the legislation or the policy approach that will keep us academically based, you know, sound in our response. They obviously will contribute to that. They are going to be strong leaders. I know Kathy as a, you know, sound person of integrity who will, you know who savvy in both the substance and the politics. They will be courting some of the ideas out there also and so I see a lot of opportunity for that group to do messaging and marketing. And I just, I relayed it to like a business model, you’re in sales, you’re in product development. It will be us working on all of those dynamics. But they’ll have great opportunities to share the message and grow the message out there. We’ll have great challenges and responsibilities to develop the policy because the statutory authority remains with the committees and subcommittees and you know, when I use those terms in the plural sense it’s because this issue traverses over so many assignments. Transportation and input structure. Ways and means with any source of revenue that will be created. Workforce with education and labor. The energy and commerce committee which I serve. Science based and technology. Natural resources to name a few. This traverses many, many issue areas, committee structures and the related subcommittee. So, there is gonna be plenty of discussion and interaction. Our goal is to welcome all the thoughts on to the table. Those thousands of solutions that will bloom. Let them bloom. And our goal then is to go through our framework for climate action in the U.S. congress that we unveil in Baltimore. Go through those nine steps, those nine principles that are included in the framework and use those to evaluate any and all solutions and then work to make certain. It is a science based evidence based with carbon as a centerpiece as a comprehensive climate legislation.
[00:35:48]
Bill Loveless: And I think you wanted to mention where we can find these principles.
[00:35:51]
Paul Tonko: Yeah, we should make mention of that. It’s Tonko.gov. Tonko.house.gov/climate.
[00:35:51]
Bill Loveless: You got a lot of work ahead of Mr. Chairman.
[00:36:02]
Paul Tonko: We do but we welcome the challenge. We welcome the assignment and let’s think about it as all of us making the world better for us. But more importantly for generations to come. Our inaction, our failure on this topic will be placed in the laps of generations that will follow us. I think that would be a deplorable outcome.
[00:36:24]
Bill Loveless: Mr. Chairman, Paul Tonko, thank you very much for sitting down with us on the Columbia Energy Exchange.
[00:36:29]
Paul Tonko: My pleasure Bill and thank you again for this opportunity and again to the listeners, Tonko.house.gov/climate.
[00:36:39]
Bill Loveless: Well, that’s our conversation. I hope you enjoyed it. Let us know with a note on our website at Energypolicy.columbia.edu or a rating and comment on your favorite podcast platform. Follow us on social media too at Columbiauenergy. For the Columbia Energy Exchange, I’m Bill Loveless. We’ll be back again next week with another conversation.