Rep. Sean Casten On Avoiding A Shutdown, The Green New Deal And Climate Change
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 calls 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."
We got an early start on our #ILDelegation interviews for our @21stShow trip to DC w/ @SeanCasten. Casten, elected after 20 years working in clean energy in the private sector, said he wasn't consulted on the #GreenNewDeal, "It caught me by surprise like a lot of members."— Niala Boodhoo (@NialaBoodhoo) February 12, 2019
Casten: "Having spent 20 years running companies with missions to profitably reduce CO2 emissions, I cannot tell you how many times a barrier to us doing more of that was United States law."— Niala Boodhoo (@NialaBoodhoo) February 12, 2019
He says the pro-business and pro-environment communities need to work together on this,