Environment and Climate Change

What makes living in the Pacific Northwest so special is the natural environment that surrounds us. The 1st Congressional District is home to some of our nation’s most beautiful forests, mountains and waterways. We also have some of the most fertile agricultural land. Taking care of our natural resources and protecting our environment is critical to maintaining the quality of life we cherish. That’s why I’ve introduced and passed legislation to protect our public lands including protecting Illabot Creek as wild and scenic and expanding the Alpine Lakes Wilderness. I’ve also fought for full and permanent funding for the Land and Water Conservation Fund, a critical tool for conservation, which was included in the Great American Outdoors Act. This important bill will also help protect and preserve our national parks, including the North Cascades, by addressing the backlog in repairs and maintenance in parks and other public lands.

No one can deny the impact that climate changes is having on our region. Sea levels are rising, our oceans are becoming more acidic, and we are seeing an increase in insect outbreaks and tree diseases. This endangers not only our local economy, potentially costing us thousands of jobs, but also the health of our families and communities. I am disappointed that President Trump has undone many of the Obama Administration’s policies to combat climate change and has consistently opposed new efforts to address this crisis. I am a cosponsor of a resolution that calls for the United States to remain in the Paris Climate accord and work with other countries to reduce emissions. I believe that climate change is one of the most serious threats we face, and that we need to take the necessary steps to build a new economy based on clean and renewable energy sources and reduce our dependence on fossil fuels and foreign oil.

Here in the 1st Congressional District, we have an educated workforce, advanced manufacturing, and growing technology industry, which make us poised to be a leader in the emerging green economy.

One of my first votes in the 116th Congress was to create a new Select Committee on the Climate Crisis. This committee recently released their report, the Climate Crisis Action Plan, which would at a minimum reach net-zero carbon dioxide emissions before 2050; reduce net U.S. greenhouse gas emissions by at least 37% below 2010 levels in 2030 and 88% below 2010 levels in 2050; provide nearly $8 trillion in cumulative climate and health benefits through 2050. Supporting these efforts is critical to the future of our country and our planet.