Climate Debate in Congress

As of August 2014, 221 bills focusing specifically on climate change had been introduced in the 113th Congress (2013-2014). Many more bills touch on energy, environment, transportation, agriculture and other areas that could have an impact on or be affected by climate change. The list below, however, contains for the most part only those bills whose authors explicitly reference climate change or related terms, such as greenhouse gases (GHG) or carbon dioxide. (For brevity, all legislative proposals, including resolutions and amendments, are referred to here as "bills.") The list includes 134 bills that are intended to advance climate action, as well as 87 bills that would hinder climate action, 56 of which would curb EPA’s ability to regulate greenhouse gas emissions from power plants.

Though they do not specifically mention climate change, this list also includes those bills dealing with the impact of Hurricane Sandy that have been signed into law. The list also includes Public Law 113-89, which reverses many of the provisions of the Flood Insurance Reform Act of 2012, and was enacted into law despite being opposed by climate action and taxpayer advocates.

In addition, the list includes the Shaheen-Portman and McKinley-Welch energy efficiency bills. Shaheen-Portman enjoyed bipartisan support and had been considered the best prospect for enactment among energy bills in this Congress. In May 2014, however, the bill fell five votes short of the 60 needed to bring the bill to a final vote in the Senate – a casualty of disagreements over whether to consider the approval of the Keystone XL pipeline and prohibition of EPA’s carbon dioxide regulations as amendments to the energy efficiency bill.

The bills, resolutions, and amendments of the 113th Congress dealing with climate change are divided into the following categories: