Congressman Garret Graves is the best man to support House Res. 424, a resolution on climate change introduced Thursday by 10 House Republicans, because of his experience in state policy.

H. Res. 424 is an unprecedented Republican effort to shift the Washington debate on climate change from its current partisan shouting match to a reasonable conversation.

The resolution frames the climate change discussion on effects that constituents see and the responsibility elected officials have to support their home districts. It shifts the congressional dialogue toward bipartisanship by allowing conservative voices to come to the table to discuss solutions.

Congressman Graves should co-sponsor this resolution because he has 18 years of experience with coastal policy. While Graves was chairman of the Coastal Protection and Restoration Authority, he worked with a broad coalition of constituents, from environmental groups, to fishermen, to the oil and gas industries. While these groups might seem at odds, Graves talked with all of them to find common ground. This skill is essential to the conversation that H. Res. 424 is starting within Congress.

In addition to his experience, Graves has a track record of getting the job done efficiently. Graves expressed himself clearly regarding government efficiency last year.

“The mandate from the voters in South Louisiana and the nation is clear — they want to get America back on track and they want to end the dysfunction in Washington,” Graves said when announcing his chief of staff.

Co-sponsoring H. Res. 424 is a first step in ending dysfunctional partisan barriers to allow constructive conversation in D.C. Only then can government pass legislation that matters.

Ultimately, the politics of climate change has to prioritize people. South Louisiana is one of the most vulnerable places in the nation to climate change, according to a report by NOAA. We experience some of the highest rates of coastal land loss, making us more vulnerable to hurricanes. Our land is sinking as seas are rising, threatening aquifers further inland with saltwater intrusion. Last August, Louisiana had the highest heat wave in years with temperatures over 100 for an entire week.

We already experience drastic changes to our home and our way of life, but more importantly, we’ve already begun to do something about it. When Congressman Graves was chairman of the CPRA, the Legislature passed a $50 billion master plan unanimously to restore our coast and protect our communities. Why can’t similar efficiency be reached in Washington?

Supporting this resolution is a commitment to supporting the people of Louisiana. By co-sponsoring H. Res. 424, Congressman Graves will demonstrate that some issues are bigger than partisan politics.

Amanda Richey

student

Greenville, South Carolina