U.S. Rep. Rick Nolan has joined the Congressional Climate Solutions Caucus.
The Democrat from northeastern Minnesota announced Friday that he was the first Minnesotan to do so and that he also recruited Rep. David Joyce, an Ohio Republican, to join him.
Their unity isn’t a surprise for those who have followed the fights over President Donald Trump’s spending plan. Trump’s plan to nearly eliminate the Great Lakes Restoration Initiative from the Environmental Protection Agency has galvanized Republicans and Democrats alike from Great Lakes states to call for protection of the program.
Nolan’s district runs along Lake Superior.
“As our now 46-member Climate Solutions Caucus continues to grow, our task will be to educate our colleagues on economically viable options to reduce climate risk,” Nolan said in a statement. “Unless we come together with a plan of action, heat waves, failing crops, terrible storms, and mass migrations of people will continue to cost lives, destabilize governments and call into question the very survival of our species.”
He added: “There can be nothing partisan in our determination to come up with solutions before it’s too late for Planet Earth.”
Joyce told EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt that the Great Lakes restoration program has made a tremendous difference, noting that Ohio receives much of its drinking water from Lake Erie. His comments came during a June hearing of the House Appropriations subcommittee overseeing interior and environmental areas. (Another Minnesota Democrat, Rep. Betty McCollum, is the ranking member.)
The caucus’ mission is to explore bipartisan policies that address the effects, causes and challenges of climate change. The co-chairs are two Florida lawmakers, Republican Rep. Carlos Curbelo and Democratic Rep. Ted Deutch; members hail from Illinois, California, New York and other states.
Nolan vowed to continue urging Trump to reverse his “ill-considered” decision to remove the U.S. from the Paris climate accord. German Chancellor Angela Merkel said last week that Trump’s move has made it more important for the European Union to show leadership on the issue.