Trump Impeachment Neguse Judiciary

Rep. Joe Neguse, D-Colo., speaks during a House Judiciary Committee markup of the articles of impeachment against President Donald Trump, on Capitol Hill Wednesday, Dec. 11, 2019, in Washington.

Those watching Friday morning’s impeachment hearing in the 41-member House Judiciary Committee might have noticed a plastic water bottle at every representative’s seat.

To Colorado’s Joe Neguse, that represents a very obvious target in the much larger battle to address climate change.

“Ninety-nine percent of plastic is made from fossil fuels, with refinement being the most greenhouse gas-intensive part of the lifecycle, and almost all plastic ends up in oceans and landfills,” wrote Neguse, who represents the Second Congressional District, to House Administration Committee Chair Zoe Lofgren, D-Calif.

Also signing the letter was U.S. Rep. Kim Schrier, D-Wash. The Administration Committee oversees House expenses, security, and also federal elections. Neguse and Schrier asked Lofgren to eliminate single-use plastic water bottles in “committee rooms, hearings and proceedings.”

“While climate change is a global problem, solving it depends on the power of our individual choices as consumers; each decision we make has a real cumulative impact on our environment,” Neguse said.

A review of video suggests that Neguse was indeed not using plastic bottles during this week’s Judiciary hearings.

The House Administration Committee did not immediately have a response to the letter.

In 2017, The Guardian reported that consumers worldwide bought 20,000 water bottles each second, and fewer than half were recycled. A British House of Commons committee heard testimony from an industry representative that manufacturing water bottles from recycled plastic uses 75% less energy than new plastic, but whether to do so “is a decision made by brands.”

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