It is appropriate to give credit where credit is due.

The House recently voted on the Defense Department authorization bill, which acknowledges climate change as a “direct threat” to our national security and provides for serious study of the impact of climate change on the military over the next 20 years.

Rep. Scott Perry, R-Pa., introduced an amendment that would have removed the climate change language and prevented the study. However, in a welcome development, a majority of the House of Representatives blocked the amendment, allowing the bill to go forward with climate provisions intact.

Maine can be proud that both Reps. Chellie Pingree, D-1st District, and Bruce Poliquin, R-2nd District, voted with the majority supporting the climate change language and study of climate change’s impact on our military preparedness. In fact, 46 House Republicans voted with the majority, many of them members of the bipartisan House Climate Solutions Caucus.

It is time to give up the outdated notion that climate change is a partisan issue. America must take planning for security and our military seriously, and that includes preparing for the conflicts we may encounter in our changing world. By their votes, Pingree and Poliquin demonstrated their understanding, and for this we should acknowledge and appreciate them.

Edward Pontius

co-chair, Portland Chapter, Citizens’ Climate Lobby


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