Climate Change and the Environment

From the launch of my first congressional campaign in 2014, the issue at the forefront of my mind has been climate change. It is the most significant existential threat of our time, with a cost in lives and financial loss that grows higher every year. The climate crisis requires comprehensive action on a grand scale.

In Congress, I serve as Co-Chair of the Congressional Safe Climate Caucus, a group of over 70 Democrats pushing solutions to move the country away from carbon pollution.

Carbon pricing is one of the most important tools available that can help us meet the speed and scale with which we need to respond. For that reason, I am the sponsor of the Healthy Climate and Family Security Act, a carbon cap and dividend bill that would auction carbon pollution credits and return the proceeds electronically every quarter to every American. I also support a Green New Deal.

We must facilitate research and innovation to decarbonize sectors and build upon our current successes. My bipartisan SEA FUEL Act to help the military capture carbon and use it to create fuels was signed into law in the previous session of Congress. I am also a co-lead of the ARPA-E Reauthorization Act to develop truly transformational clean energy technologies. I founded the Congressional Fusion Caucus earlier to educate Members about the science behind fusion energy, dispel any misconceptions, and advocate for increased funding through private-public partnerships. 

My legislation to use tax incentives to spur widespread adoption of mid-size electric vehicles is a key piece of the climate provisions of the Build Back Better Act, President Biden’s signature climate legislation. That bill also contains provisions I led, including the NET Zero Act to scale up the development of direct air capture legislation, which would remove carbon pollution directly from the air, as well as legislation to incentivize the reduction of emissions in commercial buildings, increased production of domestic solar and green hydrogen.

We must prepare our communities to adapt. I am a co-lead of the bipartisan RECLAIM Act, which helps coal-mining regions shift their local economy to create jobs in other sectors, including clean energy. Via the bipartisan National Oceans and Coastal Security Improvements Act, I helped create a fund to build coastal resilience and help communities like Alexandria proactively deal with nuisance flooding, which is worsening with climate change.

It is important to remember that climate change is a global crisis and requires global solutions that will not occur unless the world’s largest economy is fully committed to rising to the challenge. I was proud to represent the United States at the 2021 United Nations COP26 Climate Change Conference in Glasgow.