our planet is facing a climate crisis  

September 21, 2019

As we approach our final days of Summer, I am struck by several facts. For the Northern Hemisphere, this season was the hottest on record since 1880. The five hottest Augusts have all occurred in the past five years. Polar ice caps are diminishing at an alarming rate. Extreme weather events are increasing in force and number with each passing year. Ocean temperatures are rising. Around the world, people are feeling the devastating effects of climate change.

Climate change is a global problem, and swift and aggressive action must be taken to address it before that incredible burden is left for future generations to bear. As Chair of the Subcommittee on Environment and Climate Change, I am working to advance science-based solutions to climate change in Congress.

This week, I dedicated much of my time in Washington leading discussions with my colleagues on this issue. 

  • On Wednesday, my subcommittee held a hearing titled "Pathways to Net Zero Industrial Emissions," where we sought to understand strategies to reduce carbon emissions from manufacturing while improving global competitiveness and reinvigorating America’s industrial base. 

  • After on Wednesday, I had the honor of welcoming our own Plug Power of Latham NY to the Science Space and Technology committee to share their insights on building a sustainable transportation sector.

  • On Thursday morning, I attended a Science Space and Technology Committee hearing, where EPA Administrator Andrew Wheeler testified. Following the hearing, Mr. Wheeler returned to the EPA to announce the Administration’s rollback of the nation’s clean car standards. This is just the latest example of the Administration putting oil companies’ profits before Americans’ pocketbooks or health.
  • Later that day, I participated in a bipartisan conversation, “Reenergizing Climate Action on Capitol Hill" with my colleague Rep. Francis Rooney, a Republican from Florida. Hundreds attended the talk, panel discussion and Q&A with energy and climate experts held afterward.

  • My Friday morning was spent at a hearing in the Energy Subcommittee titled “Building a 100 Percent Clean Economy: Solutions for the U.S. Building Sector. Buildings are a major contributor to greenhouse gas emissions. Luckily, there are great ideas on how to reduce their carbon footprints, such as promoting energy efficiency and strengthening building codes.

  • After the hearing, I joined the climate strike on Capitol Hill,which was just one of many strikes that took place around the world. Millions of individuals, particularly our young people, took to the streets to demand action to address climate change.

Throughout my time serving as your representative, I have dedicated myself to leading the discussion on climate change and fighting in defense of our environment and our future. Congress must act immediately to advance a set of common-sense solutions to address the climate crisis.

Congress must create a comprehensive, national climate action plan!

  • Establish science-based, economy-wide limits on greenhouse gases emissions.
  • Put a price on carbon pollution to send a price signal throughout the economy towards cleaner alternatives.
  • Use revenues to invest in research, public infrastructure, workforce development, and other complementary policies to ease the transition to a low-emissions economy.
  • Provide for a just and equitable transition for communities and workers. The benefits of the transition to a 100% clean economy must reach every neighborhood, so that no one is left behind.

A meaningful response to the climate crisis requires urgency and boldness. We must be guided by science, not political partisanship. Congress must work together to create solutions for the better of our communities, country and planet. 

Thank you to all who are working to address our climate crisis. For our future generations who will inherit our problems, we must do better.   

As always, thank you for reading.

Your friend,