5 Election Winners to Watch on Climate as Environment Crusaders Head to Congress

Capitol Hill is about to get an injection of environmental and climate activism.

Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez speaks in support of Brent Welder during a rally at The Reardon Convention Center on Friday, July 20, 2018 in Kansas City, KS. (Photo by Dan Videtich/ For The Washington Post via Getty Images)

The freshman class of the 116th Congress—in addition to including an historic number of women and being one of the most ethnically and racially diverse—will have a striking number of members who have been environmental crusaders. With track records of taking on powerful fossil fuel interests or building clean energy businesses, many of them are talking about a “Green New Deal”—a massive federal government effort for clean energy and jobs.

Although such federal legislation seems unlikely in the short term, given the Republicans’ hold on the Senate and President Donald Trump’s veto pen, this Congress will have members who have taken on big environmental and social justice challenges and prevailed.

“We are thrilled that so many new members of the 116th Congress have been longtime leaders in accelerating our transition to clean energy and combating climate change,” said Tiernen Sittenfeld, senior vice president for government affairs at the League of Conservation Voters, which spent a record $80 million campaigning for green candidates this year. Sittenfeld said their expertise and track records in fighting powerful interests in their states are “a welcome addition to Congress at a critically important time.”

RL Miller, founder of Climate Hawks Vote, said she is “incredibly optimistic” about the next Congress. “The incoming freshman class is shifting the Democrats to the left—if you consider 100 percent clean energy ‘left,'” she said.

Here are just a few of this election’s winners who have pledged to push back against President Donald Trump’s rollbacks of environmental protection, while pushing forward a climate action agenda in the new Congress. 11-12-18

Read more at Inside Climate News