Derrick Crowe of Texas is taking on Congress' top climate change doubter. The first-time candidate for Congress is seeking the Democratic nomination to challenge Rep. Lamar Smith (R-Texas) in 2018.
"We have an escalating climate change emergency," Crowe says. "We are not getting policies that are based in science to deal with it. And you see our representative trying to stop investigations of companies that have caused the climate change emergency. So I'm running to stop that."
Crowe is a self-proclaimed science nerd, and he's putting climate change front and center in his campaign. Most Texans say they believe global warming is happening, and a majority want Congress to do more on the issue.
"More than half of Texans support regulating carbon dioxide as a pollutant," Crowe says, "and they support real investment in clean energy technologies."
Smith currently represents Texas' 21st District, including parts of Austin and San Antonio. He heads the U.S. House Committee on Science, Space and Technology, but he's often skeptical of climate scientists.
"Their ultimate goal appears to be to promote a personal agenda, even if the evidence doesn't support it," Smith said of climate scientists and their work in a House hearing earlier this year.
Crowe is part of a wave of progressive candidates running for Congress in 2018.
"If we don't get involved right now, we are going to lose our real opportunity to set up a better future for our kids," Crowe says. "We can't wait for the next presidential election. Cities, localities, members of Congress have to take this issue into their own hands. And we can't do that if people don't get involved."