Climate change is real, and it is caused by human actions – this is indisputable. Climate change is a growing threat to our planet, economy, national security, and to future generations. I have worked hard to maintain US global leadership on climate change by supporting the Paris Climate Agreement, and I am proud to have supported legislation like the Climate Action Now Act to maintain our country’s greenhouse gas reduction commitments. I have opposed attempts to reduce the size of the Environmental Protection Agency, opposed the building of mines in important fish environments, and opposed offshore oil drilling, in addition to supporting renewable energy, healthy forest management, public land conservation, and the preservation of our environment.
I am proud to support the work of communities across the Fifth District as they fight climate change, conserve local public lands and natural resources, and serve as good stewards of our forests. I am proud of the ocean acidification research and prevention happening in coastal communities and I support their work at the federal level. I worked with advocates in Molalla on their twelve-year initiative to designate the Molalla River as a Wild and Scenic River and was proud that our bill to do so was signed into law in early 2019. I am a longtime supporter of permanent and full funding for the Land and Water Conservation Fund, which preserves public lands across the state of Oregon. I am also a supporter of the bipartisan Recovering America’s Wildlife Act, which would provide additional funds for Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife to continue their important conservation work.
Climate change threatens our coasts, in particular. Coastal communities rely on clean water and heathy ocean ecosystems, and it is our responsibility to help maintain ocean health. For my entire Congressional career, I have supported the West Coast Ocean Protection Act to prohibit oil and gas leasing on the outer Continental Shelf off the Pacific coast and have advocated against plans to expand oil and gas drilling. I recently voted for moratoriums on offshore drilling in the Pacific and Atlantic Oceans and in the Alaska National Wildlife Refuge, and have opposed the proposed open pit mine in the pristine salmon habitat at Bristol Bay, Alaska.
I also believe a strong investment in renewable energy is a key component of reversing global climate change. The key to curbing the effects of global warming is to significantly reduce our carbon emissions. I support significant increases in fuel efficiency standards and strong reduction requirements for carbon emissions. I have a strong, proven record as a supporter of renewable energy. The federal government needs to make a strong investment in renewable sources of fuel that have the capacity to create thousands of new jobs and move our nation towards energy independence. In Oregon, we are fortunate to have many options for alternate forms of energy. We can harness the wind, waves, and sun to produce energy, and we can promote sustainable farming and fishing practices. As a member of the Energy Subcommittee of the Energy & Commerce Committee, I continue to use my position to advocate for renewable energy and for sustainable solutions to reduce our greenhouse gas emissions.
Addressing climate change also includes better management of our federal forestry land. Right now, wildfires are wreaking havoc in our forests and releasing vast amounts of carbon dioxide into the atmosphere. There is a need for responsible forest management, which includes thinning forests responsibly. You can see more about my forestry work here.
Despite the challenges we all face, the cost of inaction in the face of climate change is far too great.