Gov. Inslee testifies on climate change in front of Congress

Apr 2, 2019, 8:48 AM | Updated: 10:43 am

Washington State Governor Jay Inslee went before the U.S. Energy and Commerce Congressional committee Tuesday morning to testify on climate change.

RELATED: Inslee’s new climate plan nixes coal power by 2025

In his testimony, Gov. Inslee addressed a number of questions from House Representatives on how climate change is affecting Washington state, what’s being done to combat it, and what the federal government can do to assist.

“When you go into Wenatchee, Washington, see a couple crying in front of their house because it was torched, and a man holding his wife … climate change is not an abstraction to governors — we see it when we go to these emergencies,” Inslee said.

While many Congresspeople agreed on the risks posed by climate change, some voiced concerns regarding the coal industry in the U.S., and the possible harm transitioning to green energy could have on workers.

Inslee pointed out that his own state managed to address that issue in the past.

“I think the solutions to these matters are doing the kind of thing that we did in Centralia, which is to come up with a consensus-based approach, (and) to have a transition period that everyone can live with,” Inslee noted, referring to grants provided to Lewis and South Thurston County businesses to aid in the transition away from coal-powered electricity.

“I think that process can be template for other communities to be successful,” he added.

RELATED: Inslee talks climate change on ‘Fox & Friends’

Republican West Virginia Rep. David McKinley pushed for a more global approach to solving climate change, grilling Gov. Inslee on what McKinley labeled the “toothless” Paris Climate Accords. In his response, Inslee went after President Trump’s own approach to the Accords.

“We have the same degree of cooperative spirit with other nations, but that is not happening because the President of United States decided to try to withdraw from the Paris agreement,” said Inslee. “When the vast, vast, vast, majority of humanity has recognized this existential threat to their life on this planet, and then have the leader of the free world tear it up and walk away in a petulant juvenile fit, that is not helpful in developing international cooperation.”

Inslee is currently continuing his bid for the White House in 2020, running on climate change as his key issue.

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Gov. Inslee testifies on climate change in front of Congress