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Energy and Environment

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We no longer have time to debate the evidence. It is as clear as it is overwhelming: climate change is caused by human activity, and it is an existential threat to our future on this planet.

I believe that for far too long, those who oppose change have given us a false choice: grow our economy or protect our environment. I believe this thinking is disastrously wrong. I believe that if we aim high, we can rebuild our manufacturing sector and create millions of good jobs by transitioning to green energy. I know this to be true because I’ve seen it happen right here in Massachusetts. I’ve helped businesses that are taking a leading role in growing green energy production, and I’ve watched as they have grown and created good, American jobs in clean and renewable energy, infrastructure, and manufacturing.

That’s why America needs a Green New Deal. Only by taking bold, aggressive action will we be able to successfully transform our economy, create millions of good, high-wage jobs that ensure economic prosperity and security for all Americans, and save our planet.

I’m also proud that I put the principles behind the Green New Deal into action on day one as Chairman of the Rules Committee by including in our rules package the creation of a Select Committee on the Climate Crisis to elevate this issue and come up with real solutions that match the scope of the challenges we face.

But this fight didn’t start this month or even this decade. As a member of the Sustainable Energy and Environment Coalition in the House, I’ve been fighting my entire career to protect our planet from the greedy fossil fuel companies and their lobbyists.

Back in 1998, when I first got elected, Republican Speaker of the House Newt Gingrich tried to completely eliminate funding for the Land and Water Conservation Fund, or LWCF— America’s most important program conservation program that protects irreplaceable lands and improves outdoor recreation opportunities. Gingrich was unsuccessful because I organized my colleagues, took him on, and won, passing amendment which prevented him from cutting conservation funding. And when I became Chairman of the Rules Committee, I proudly brought to the House Floor the Great American Outdoors Act, which finally provides full funding to the Land and Water Conservation Fund at $900 million annually.

Since climate change is an international problem, I believe the United States needs to take a leading role in ensuring that all countries, both industrialized and developing, cooperate in this international effort. 

I proudly supported the President Obama’s decision to join the Paris Climate Agreement, and as Chairman of the House Rules Committee, I brought to the House Floor H.R. 9, the Climate Action Now Act, to reverse the Trump Administration’s disastrous withdrawal from the Paris Agreement.

And as new investments are made into our energy infrastructure, those investments must not ignore the effects they will have on climate change. That’s why I introduced a bill that would require new natural gas pipelines to publish the greenhouse gas emissions of the natural gas they transport — from extraction all the way to final use.

Our climate is changing. Our children’s future depends on investing in clean, sustainable energy sources — and taking bold steps to address the damage we have already done to our fragile planet. I will continue to fight for big, bold solutions to the climate crisis that will usher in a healthier, more equitable, and more resilient economy for everyone.

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