U.S. Rep. Joe Neguse of Colorado -- who has made combating climate change a key issue of his first term in Congress -- was named a member Thursday of a new U.S. House of Representatives committee on climate formed by Speaker Nancy Pelosi.
Neguse, D-Boulder, is one of eight Democrats named to the House Select Committee on the Climate Crisis.
“It has never been more clear that climate change is the existential threat of our time, and one that is particularly pressing for my generation," Neguse said in a statement. "We must take bold action on the climate crisis now in order to preserve this world — not only for my generation, but also for every generation to come, like that of my 6-month-old daughter.”
Neguse added that he is “honored to be appointed to the Select Committee and to begin vitally important work in finding solutions for the most pressing issue of our time. In my role on the committee, I hope to be a voice for my generation by advocating for bold, progressive solutions on climate change.”
He is the only Colorado lawmaker named to the panel. The only other mountain-state member is Rep. Ben Ray Luján, D-New Mexico.
“I want everybody to be in on the act because this is deadly serious,” Pelosi, D-California, told Politico, adding that the panel will focus on global warming “from the standpoint of health, security, economics and morality.”
The committee is similar in purpose to a panel that Pelosi established in 2007 during her first stint as House speaker. Republicans did away with the committee when they took control of the House four years later.
The committee appointments were announced on the same day that the "Green New Deal" -- a sweeping package of programs on climate change coupled with economic stimulus -- was unveiled in Congress.
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The Green New Deal calls for the U.S. to move toward zero carbon emissions by 2030 and proposes big public investments in clean-energy infrastructure and jobs.
The package -- championed by star freshman lawmaker Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, D-N.Y -- is co-sponsored by Neguse.
Both Pelosi and Ocasio-Cortez said the New Yorker was asked to join the climate panel but declined.
At Pelosi's weekly news conference Thursday, she said she welcomed the "enthusiasm" of backers of the Green New Deal but did not endorse the plan.
In her separate Politico interview, the speaker sounded dismissive of the proposal, even skewing its name:
"It will be one of several or maybe many suggestions that we receive. The green dream, or whatever they call it, nobody knows what it is, but they're for it, right?"
Ocasio-Cortez said she did not view Pelosi's comment as a "snub."
The new select committee will be led by Rep. Kathy Castor, D-Fla. Other Democratic members, besides Neguse and Luján, are Reps. Suzanne Bonamici (Ore.), Julia Brownley (Calif.), Sean Casten (Ill.), Jared Huffman (Calif.), Mike Levin (Calif.) and Donald McEachin (Va.).
Republicans have not yet been named to the climate panel.