Combatting the existential threat of climate change is a top priority of mine in Congress. We are already seeing the harmful impacts and catastrophic consequences of climate change in communities here in Washington state. We need to urgently transition away from fossil fuels and decarbonize all aspects of our economy. While this may be a daunting challenge, it also presents an enormous opportunity for creating jobs and economic opportunity, safeguarding the environment, improving public health, and rectifying long-standing issues of environment justice.
The Inflation Reduction Act signed into law in 2022 represents the single largest investment to combat climate change in U.S. history. I was proud to support this legislation that will result in tangible progress in our fight against the climate crisis. The investments included in the bill will:
- Accelerate our clean energy economy, putting us on a path to reduce emissions by roughly 40 percent by 2030.
- Support the production of more affordable and reliable clean energy right here at home, creating millions of good-paying American jobs and reducing our reliance on foreign countries for energy.
- Prioritize investments in underserved communities, with upwards of $60 billion going towards environmental justice priorities.
Promoting a Clean Transportation Sector and Electric Grid: The Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act (IIJA) signed into law in 2021 makes a once-in-a-generation investment in our transportation system to expand public transit, spur the adoption of electric cars, trucks, buses, and ferries, build out a national network of electric vehicle charging stations, and modernize and decarbonize the electric grid. Funds from this law are already creating jobs and improving our communities. I strongly support continued investments in programs that accelerate the transition of the transportation sector off fossil fuels.
Prioritizing Environmental Justice: Communities of color, low-income communities, Tribes, and other disadvantaged communities face a disproportionate burden from the negative consequences of environmental harms and climate change. It is crucial that the federal government increases its investments in these communities and ensures that the transition to a clean energy economy is done equitably to benefit environmental justice communities. I am proud to be a cosponsor of the Environmental Justice for All Act and advocate for increased funding for environmental justice grants at the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).
Protecting our Public Lands, Waters, and Wildlife: Washington is home to incredible natural resources from the Puget Sound to the Wild Olympics and the Mountains to Sound Greenway. I am committed to preserving these natural resources and promoting the conservation of endangered species like salmon and Southern Resident orcas. I have strongly supported legislation like the Protecting America’s Wilderness and Public Lands Act to permanently protect public lands and waters. I was proud to work with my colleagues in the Washington delegation to get the PUGET SOS Act signed into law in 2022, which will enhance the federal government’s role and investment in Puget Sound restoration vital to salmon and Orca recovery.
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