Protecting the Environment

 
 

Accepting Climate Change as Reality

If we care about our children, we must look to the future. There is no dispute among scientists: the planet is warming because of human actions, and the results will be disastrous. As the temperature increases, the oceans are rising, glaciers are shrinking, and weather patterns and natural disasters are only getting more extreme. We’ve already seen a rise in heat waves, hurricanes, and forest fires this year, which scientists agree are exacerbated by global warming. All of this is severely disrupting ecosystems, agriculture, urban centers, and life as we know it.

The Republicans remain too cowardly to accept the science, and instead accept millions of dollars in campaign contributions from oil and fossil fuel companies, and especially from the Koch brothers. Through their lobbying group, Americans for Prosperity, the Koch brothers proposed the No Climate Tax pledge, where legislators promise only to “oppose any legislation relating to climate change”. In 2008, Jim Jordan was the first member of Congress to sign it. In contrast, I will be a strong advocate for science-backed policies that help protect our citizens and our planet.

Paris Accord

Climate change is a problem that is bigger than all of us. It requires that we all step up and do our part to save our planet for our children. Right now, the United States is the only country in the world that hasn’t signed onto the Paris Climate Accord. Though the agreement isn’t perfect and may be difficult to enforce, it is an astounding recognition of each nation trying to scale back its own emissions and take accountability for its own contribution to a major international problem. Instead of leading, we are abdicating our responsibility to the international community. Global problems require global solutions, and as the second-largest contributor of greenhouse gases, the United States must do more to lead change.

Investing in Clean Energy

I believe that clean energy can simultaneously help the country meet its energy goals for the coming generation and create a vibrant new job sector to boost the economy. There is a future in wind, solar, and geothermal energy. Currently, the solar and wind industries are some of the fastest growing sectors in the economy, and are creating jobs more than 10 times faster than average. I support the return of good-paying jobs for hardworking Americans and am eager for those jobs to occur in a sustainable and growing sector. In Congress, I will support legislation that promotes employee training for these industries and encourages industries to transition to renewable energy.

Jim Jordan, on the other hand, was the first legislator to sign the "No Climate Tax Pledge" in November, 2010. He pledged to unilaterally oppose any legislation relating to climate change that includes a net increase in government revenue. He has voted no time and again on tax incentives for renewable energy companies while encouraging the government to subsidize the oil and gas industries. These blanket decisions hurt Americans by keeping us from exploring the cutting edge of alternative energy sources.