State House Sound Bites

Capitol reporter Katie Meyer covers Pennsylvania politics and issues at the Pennsylvania state capitol.
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PA Dems organizing against attacks on climate interests

Written by Katie Meyer, Capitol Bureau Chief | Jan 26, 2017 3:08 AM

A core group of caucus members, including Rep. Vitali, held a briefing about their goals for the session. (Photo by Katie Meyer/WITF)

(Harrisburg) -- With Washington now working to roll back environmental regulations, build pipelines, and potentially withdraw from global climate agreements, some lawmakers are moving to organize around climate change on the state level.

On Wednesday, a group of Democrats and other advocates announced the formation of Pennsylvania's first climate caucus.

Democrats are sorely outnumbered in both the state House and Senate, and the handful of them that make up the infant climate caucus agreed--it's going to be a tough road ahead.

Delaware County's Greg Vitali, one of the House's most outspoken Democrats on climate issues, said the group's goal will be less about passing legislation, and more about strategically blocking the GOP.

"The key to blocking stuff here, because it moves so quickly, is to be able to react quickly," he noted.

Vitali said one of the most useful things the caucus can do is disseminate basic information to members, so they can engage in floor debates to oppose anti-climate legislation.

Though the group's core members so far only include Democrats, caucus leader Steve McCarter, a Montgomery County Representative, says they're working to get some Republicans on board.

Published in News, State House Sound Bites

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