Protecting our environment is crucial. Climate change is real and it’s a serious threat to our economy and our way of life. Unfortunately, the United States does not have a leader who takes the threat seriously. Trump’s shortsighted decision to withdraw from the Paris Accord made us the only country in the world that is not a signatory to the agreement Whatever short-term economic benefits Trump may think we gain from withdrawing from this agreement are nothing compared to the long-term costs.
Trump’s decision is terrible for the next generation and the world we’re going to leave to them with. With a President that thinks you can solve a problem by sticking your head in the sand, we need a Congress that will take immediate action to protect our environment. As a father, I know that if we don’t act now, my children will have to live with the consequences. That’s why I will push for a strong environmental protection agenda in Congress.
Save the Clean Power Plan
Trump and his EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt are threatening to repeal the Clean Power Plan, which sets much-needed limits on how much carbon dioxide power plants can emit into the atmosphere. It’s expected that the Clean Power Plan would reduce emissions back to 2005 levels by 2030. Congress needs to codify the Clean Power Plan into law before Trump and Pruitt overturn it.
Fund the EPA
Trump’s proposed FY 2019 budget would cut $2.5 billion in funding from the EPA. These cuts would be devastating to an agency that is already stretched thin. The EPA was created by Republican President Richard Nixon. Democrats and Republicans should be able to work together to ensure that the agency has the funding it needs to carry out its important mission.
Keep our Air Clean
The Clean Air Act of 1963 has had extraordinary public health and safety benefits. The law along with subsequent proposals to strengthen had support from both parties. Unfortunately, House Republicans are breaking with the longtime tradition of bipartisan support for clean air and are trying to weaken the act’s ozone standards. I strongly oppose bills like the Ozone Standards Implementation Act that would turn back the clock on the progress we have made on reducing ozone pollution.
Protect our Wildlife
House Republicans are also trying to weaken wildlife protections with bills like H.R. 2406. This bill would have several negative consequences including making it easier for poachers to bring illegal ivory into the United States. Wildlife protections are crucial to ensuring that we leave our planet better off for the next generation.
Invest in Green Technology
We can help transition the United States to a greener economy by providing grants to make green technology affordable and accessible. Solar energy usage has doubled every two years for the past three decades as the technology becomes cheaper. If solar continues to grow at this rate, it could provide all of the world’s energy within the next two decades. But in order for it to keep growing at this rate, we need new technologies to keep making it cheaper. Businesses, universities, and even our own military are working on developing these technologies every day. Let’s give them the start-up capital they need to bring these technologies to market and make 100% green power a reality.
Solving a major problem like climate change requires us to make sure that nobody gets left behind. Many communities, including several here in Western Maryland, have been economically dependent on coal and other traditional sources of energy. I support investments to help revitalize these communities that have been harmed by the transition to renewable energy.
Make Federal Buildings Energy Efficient
As the nation’s largest landlord and energy consumer, the federal government needs to lead the way on sustainable buildings. President Obama showed this leadership by issuing executive orders to reduce the federal government’s carbon footprint by building new green buildings and upgrading existing ones. Congress should codify Obama’s most green buildings executive order into law to prevent the Trump administration from rolling back progress on sustainability.
Protect Fuel Efficiency Standards
Republicans in Washington are trying to roll back the CAFÉ standards that have driven tremendous gains in fuel efficiency and dramatically reduced air pollution from automobiles and other vehicles. We should fight to keep these standards in place. From 1975 to 2010 the fuel efficiency of cars doubled. We need to continue on this trajectory, not go backward.
Preserve the Chesapeake Bay
The Chesapeake Bay is a vital natural resource not only to Marylanders but to all Americans and the federal government must play a role in its preservation. I will oppose efforts by the Trump Administration and Republicans in Congress to undermine the EPA’s plans to clean up the Chesapeake.