May 15, 2019

Representative Levin Presses Interior Secretary Bernhardt on His Responsibility to Fight Climate Change During House Natural Resources Committee Hearing

Washington, D.C. – Today, during a House Natural Resources Committee hearing, U.S. Representative Mike Levin (D-CA) pressed Department of Interior Secretary David Bernhardt on his responsibility to fight climate change, which Bernhardt has failed to do so far. Representative Levin highlighted Secretary Bernhardt’s stated belief that Congress has not directed him to address the impacts of climate change, despite multiple court rulings and laws enacted by Congress which require the Secretary to manage for climate change in the natural resource planning process.

“Secretary, I’ve just given you a number of examples where you do have to take climate change into account to do your work, and we’re talking about real people in communities here that are impacted in my district and districts all across the country. And we know – when you talk about a range – we know the range is from very bad to extremely bad. We’re talking about long-term economic consequences, environmental consequences, and you’re at the forefront of that,” said Representative Levin.

He added, “We talk a lot about draining the swamp – it’s the epitome of the swamp to have a handful of polluters dictate the environmental policies of this administration. You might wonder why there are people in swamp creature outfits behind you. The public has real concerns about your work, sir, and you’ve done very little to address those, and we’re going to continue to hold you to account, Secretary.”

Representative Levin also asked Secretary Bernhardt to respond to his previous request that California be removed from the Administration’s future offshore drilling plans.

As a member of the House Natural Resources Committee and the House Select Committee on the Climate Crisis, Representative Levin is a leader in the fight to combat climate change, protect the environment, and promote clean energy. Representative Levin cosponsored the Climate Action Now Act, which would prohibit the Administration from withdrawing the United States from the Paris Agreement, and would also call on the President to develop a plan for how the nation will meet the pollution reduction goals in the Agreement. He also cosponsored legislation to ban future offshore oil and gas drilling leases along the coast of California.