Rep. Sean Casten On Avoiding A Shutdown, The Green New Deal And Climate Change

February 12, 2019
 

Maddie Carlos

Rep. Sean Casten is a Democratic Congressman from Illinois’ 6th district, which covers some of Chicago’s west and northwest suburbs, including Wheaton, St. Charles, and Downers Grove. We sat down with him at NPR on Tuesday morning in Washington D.C. 

Among the new members sworn into Congress this year is Democrat Sean Casten who represents Chicago’s West and Northwest suburbs. We asked the freshman congressman and former clean energy CEO his thoughts on the Green New Deal. He says the document can start the conversation when it comes to addressing climate change, but he wants to see specific legislation passed.

“We have almost no policies that reward people for growing the economy and lowering CO2 emissions, and having spent 20 years running companies with missions to profitably reduce C02 emissions, I cannot tell you how many times the barrier to us doing more of that was actually a United States law.”

The Green New Deal was introduced ​last week by Democratic Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez from New York and Senator Ed Markey of Massachusetts. The resolution call​s for creating green jobs and drastically lowering carbon emissions, but it is a nonbinding resolution and if passed would not directly lead to law changes.

Rep. Casten was also asked about his thoughts on the shutdown earlier this year. He had this to say: 

"You run for office because you have ideas about how to govern and what you want to do... we spent 35 days in aggregate essentially arguing about whether or not we should govern. It's frustrating. I'm glad it's done."