States with poor climate policy ‘overlap’ with those seeking to limit rights, Kamala Harris says
A group of U.S. states that have made poor climate policy, like California and Washington, “are not only over a barrel when it comes to federal climate policy, they are on the horns of a big, fat dilemma,” Kamala Harris, a U.S. Department of Justice official under President Barack Obama, said Tuesday at a Washington think tank.
Harris is the first public official to make climate policy a focus of her current position of Justice Under Secretary for Environmental Affairs. She spoke at a Center for American Progress event held in a window of the former Department of Justice building.
“The problem is that states that have taken a different direction have not been able to advance their interests,” she said.
The U.S. Constitution has a “directive” that the federal government cannot infringe upon property rights, she said. For that reason, they need to be wary of overreaching from Washington.
“If you go to one of these states that has taken on the mantle of defending climate change and the environment, like California, you will find that you have a group of people that are very much in agreement with each other. They are all part of a very broad and diverse coalition of environmentalists and people who care about the environment,” Harris said. “But when it comes to some of the things that they say they are trying to do, they don’t get any support from the federal government. The federal government, in other words, is either on the other side of or doesn’t seem to care about this. That is a big dilemma.”
She also said that while some states are trying to reduce carbon emissions, those that are trying to increase them are not being treated with the same urgency.
“The only one that I’m aware of that actually says that they’re taking these actions is Alaska, and I have to say, Alaska is a rather small state.”
Washington is among those states, however. State officials in Washington are currently trying to enact new policies to raise the nation’s cap