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Bipartisan Senate climate caucus grows by six members

The Senate’s bipartisan Climate Solutions Caucus is already growing with the addition of six new members announced on Wednesday.

Sens. Lisa Murkowski (R-Alaska), Jeanne Shaheen (D-N.H.), Mitt Romney (R-Utah), Angus King (I-Maine), Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.), and Michael Bennet (D-Colo.) will join the caucus formed by Sens. Christopher Coons (D-Del.) and Mike Braun (R-Ind.) last month.

“I believe climate change is real. I also believe that we as Americans have the ability to come up with climate change solutions that can benefit our economy and our way of life,” Graham said in a statement. “The United States has long been a leader in innovation. Addressing climate change is an opportunity to put our knowledge and can-do spirit to work to protect the environment for our benefit today and for future generations.”

The group said members want to craft “legislation that will significantly reduce greenhouse gas emissions using market-based approaches that are durable, equitable, and supportive of the American economy.”

Even as consensus grows among political leaders on the realities of climate change, Coons and Braun said they hope to remove divisiveness from what remains a controversial issue in Congress.

“Our caucus seeks to take the politics out of this important issue. Instead, members will commit to an honest dialogue, through which we can develop solutions that solidify American environmental leadership, promote American workers, and make meaningful progress on protecting our environment,” the duo wrote in an op-ed in The Hill.

The eight-member group has already had its first meeting, joining CEOs on Tuesday to discuss federal climate policy. They are also slated to make an appearance on “CBS This Morning” on Thursday. 

A companion caucus, the House Climate Solutions Caucus, is led by Reps. Ted Deutch (D-Fla.) and Francis Rooney (R-Fla.).

Graham was joined by Murkowski when he announced the formation of the Republican Roosevelt Conservation Caucus in July. 

Updated at 7:56 p.m.

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