WASHINGTON, DC — January 12, 2019 — the new Congress is now in place with Democratic leadership and we are ready to get to work. We have a sense of urgency about many things, but there is nothing more pressing than the need for immediate action on climate change.
The President’s own Administration has said climate change is a huge problem that must be dealt with immediately. In their report, delivered in November, 2018, they say “The impacts of climate change are already being felt in communities across the country. More frequent and intense extreme weather and climate-related events, as well as changes in average climate conditions, are expected to continue to damage infrastructure, ecosystems and social systems that provide essential benefits to communities.” Without significant global mitigation action the report predicts economic losses in the hundreds of billions of dollars. We don’t need another Hurricane Sandy or Hurricane Maria to know the time to act is now.
The elimination of greenhouse gas emissions is a massive challenge. But big problems require bold solutions. By rising to meet that challenge, we can create a new, green economy that will propel us in the 21st century. We can create millions of jobs while we invest in a clean energy future for the United States and become a major exporter of green energy solutions to the rest of the world.
For many years I have worked in Congress to promote the use of clean fuels in our power sector, championed the development of efficient vehicles and the diversification of fuel sources in our transportation sector, and fought to improve efficiency in our buildings and homes. As a member of the Safe Climate Caucus, I have authored and successfully passed numerous amendments to appropriations bills that require all new federal vehicles to be alternative fuel vehicles. I am also a cosponsor of the Off Fossil Fuels Act, which would bring an end to new fossil fuel projects and move our electricity and most transportation systems to 100% renewable energy by 2035.
In addition, I have fought to authorize and secure funding for flood remediation projects throughout my district. By investing in our infrastructure, we will ensure our children have access to clean air and clean water.
The Democratic Congress knows the time to act is now. We have an extraordinary opportunity to create a new economy to conquer the challenge of climate change. We must seize that opportunity and become the global leader in combatting climate change.