By Karen Savage
Fossil fuel companies should not be let off the hook for their role in climate change, according to a plan to address the growing climate crisis proposed by House Democrats.
The plan, released Tuesday by the House Select Committee on the Climate Crisis, is intended to “reduce carbon pollution as quickly and aggressively as possible, make communities more resilient to the impacts of climate change, and build a durable and equitable clean energy economy.”
Included is the recommendation that Congress put a price on carbon, but the committee did not specify what that price should be.
In recent weeks, some have worried that the plan would allow the fossil fuel companies to escape climate liability lawsuits in exchange for supporting carbon pricing.
The committee not only refused to do that, but included specific language clarifying that it does not support waiving liability: “Congress should not offer liability relief or nullify Clean Air Act authorities or other existing statutory duties to cut pollution in exchange for a carbon price.”
The plan is the latest in a series of Democratic announcements indicating support for climate change-related lawsuits. Sixty representatives opposed using the Covid-19 crisis to shield fossil fuel companies from climate change-related lawsuits in a letter sent to House leadership last month. Presidential hopeful Joe Biden pledged earlier this month that his administration will “hold corporations and executives personally liable for pollution.”