CLIMATE CHANGE

When I was in high school, I experienced Snowmageddon. While living on the West Coast, I experienced droughts and wildfires. While living in Brazil, I saw firsthand the deterioration of the Amazon and its effects on the environment. There is no question about whether the climate is changing. The only question is: What are we going to do about it?

 

The climate crisis is accelerating. If we want to preserve our communities and ensure a safe world with clean air and water for our children, we need urgent, bold action. The U.S. is a world leader — in greenhouse gas emissions and in global climate policy. We have to put our money where our mouth is and start passing and complying with climate legislation that works.

I support:

1. 100% Clean Electricity Generation

  • I support the Clean Electricity Performance Program, which would require utilities to generate an increasing amount of power from renewable energy, paying utilities that met the requirements and fining utilities that did not. An independent analysis indicates that this program would massively increase renewable energy creation while creating over 7.5 million jobs by 2031.

  • Massively expand tax credits for renewable energy generation, as envisioned in the Build Back Better Act

  • There should be a fee for methane leaks. Methane is 72 times more potent than carbon dioxide in causing climate change over a 20-year period, and any leak of methane is undesirable and costs gas producers money.

 

2. A “Just Transition”

  • Ensuring a “Just Transition” means equitably distributing the costs and benefits of climate action, using the following strategies:

    • Using social dialogue and stakeholder engagement among workers, employers, governments, communities, and civil society to ensure our climate policies do not place disproportionate burden on different groups.
    • Ensuring affected workers and communities receive the support, social protection, and investments they need to work and thrive in a zero-carbon future.
    • Switching the revenue streams that governments currently receive from fossil fuel production to other revenues in an equitable manner.
    • Having companies create decent jobs and contribute to economic growth while taking positive action on climate change and supporting union jobs.
    • Making it easier for workers in the clean energy economy to unionize by passing the PRO Act and pushing the Biden Administration to crack down on illegal union-busting efforts.
  • We need to combat climate change, and this means making big changes to the way we live and run our country. Taking these measures and ensuring the green transition is equitable will mean that you, constituents of the 8th, and your fellow citizens, will be protected along the way. 

 

3. Moving to electric vehicles and increasing public transit use

  • I will push President Biden to set fuel economy standards that require auto manufacturers to move to 100% electric vehicle sales by a certain date.

  • I support the subsidies in the Build Back Better bill for the purchase of electric cars (up to $12,500 per customer). I also support tying part of this subsidy to a requirement that the vehicle be made with union labor to ensure that clean energy jobs are good-paying jobs.

  • The recently passed infrastructure bill is funding the construction of charging stations across the country. I support massively expanding the money the government spends to build these charging stations.

  • I support increased federal investments for public transit like Amtrak and Metro, as well as using federal funding to incentivize localities to build more dense, walkable communities like we have here in the 8th District that allow people to get around without needing a car.

 

4. Subsidizing retrofitting of buildings

  • Funding the retrofitting of buildings allows us to upgrade the energy performance of existing commercial buildings. Retrofits can improve energy efficiency, decrease energy demand, or can help with distributing energy generation in a building.

  • Funding the installation of electric heat pumps during retrofitting, which cause much fewer carbon emissions than gas heating.

  • Our district is home to thousands of beautiful, historic buildings, as well as many commercial areas full of bustling economic powerhouses. To encourage these areas to watch their carbon footprint, we need to incentivize energy-saving policies that work.

  • Subsidizing and incentivizing the installation of electric heat pumps in new construction.

5. Investing in research & development of technology to decarbonize industrial processes such as cement and steel production

  • Industrial processes are some of the trickiest areas to decarbonize, and I believe we need to massively expand federal investments into developing the technologies that will allow us to decarbonize these processes.

6. Subsidizing and encouraging practices that reduce emissions from agriculture

  • Agriculture is a huge source of carbon emissions. The U.S. Department of Agriculture should subsidize and encourage processes that reduce emissions from this sector and increase profits for small farmers.

  • Among other measures, I support policies that subsidize no-till farming and changing the diet of domesticated cows (bred for meat and dairy) so they emit less methane.

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