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Joe Neguse speaking at the 2019 Martin Luther King Jr. Marade.EXPAND
Joe Neguse speaking at the 2019 Martin Luther King Jr. Marade.
Kenneth Hamblin III

Joe Neguse, House Democrats to Hold Climate Crisis Hearing in Boulder

A special committee established by congressional Democrats to tackle climate change will convene in Boulder next month for its first field hearing.

Members of the Select Committee on the Climate Crisis will meet in Boulder on Thursday, August 1, for a hearing focused on the transition to renewable energy, the committee announced today, July 15. First-year Representative Joe Neguse, whose district includes Boulder, was one of eight Democrats appointed to the committee in February.

“The state of Colorado — and the 2nd Congressional District in particular — is an epicenter for climate change research,” Neguse said in a statement, highlighting the work done by Colorado universities and federally funded institutions like the National Center for Atmospheric Research. “That is why it is only fitting that we would host the newly empaneled House Select Committee on the Climate Crisis here in Boulder for our very first field hearing to discuss critical state and local efforts to combat the climate crisis.”

In addition to NCAR, the Front Range is home to the National Renewable Energy Laboratory in Golden, one of the country's leading centers for research in wind, solar, energy efficiency and more, as well as several university-based research hubs, including the University of Colorado Boulder's Cooperative Institute for Research in Environmental Sciences.

Led by Governor Jared Polis and other top Democrats, Colorado has enacted several major new climate policies in 2019, including goals for greenhouse gas emissions cuts between now and 2050 and a variety of new measures aimed at reducing pollution from the electric and transportation sectors. A report released by state health officials last week found that the state's carbon emissions are falling for the first time in decades, though not nearly fast enough to meet its new goals.

"Colorado is on the front lines of bold climate action and green job creation," Polis said in a statement Monday. “I applaud Representative Neguse and my former colleagues for their efforts to address the climate crisis. Colorado has always served as a leader for clean-tech innovation, and we have no intention of slowing down.”

Neguse, a former CU regent who was elected last year to replace Polis in the left-leaning 2nd District, is the only member of Colorado's congressional delegation to have endorsed the Green New Deal, the sweeping  proposal for a "ten-year national mobilization" to slash carbon emissions and transition to clean energy. Last week, he also signed on as a co-sponsor of a separate resolution, also championed by Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and other progressives, that would formally declare that climate change is a "national emergency."

Further details on next month's hearing, including a location and a list of witnesses, will be posted on the website of the Select Committee on the Climate Crisis.

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