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Fighting Climate Change

 

Climate change is real, caused by human activity, and an urgent threat to our way of life. For too long, scientific warnings were ignored and now we’re at a crisis point. To avoid a major, irreversible catastrophe, we must take bold action to become carbon neutral by 2050.

In the 116th Congress, I’ve introduced three bills to protect our oceans and coastlines from the climate crisis and reduce greenhouse gas emissions. I’m proud that two of these bills (H.R. 1716 & H.R. 3596) have already passed the House and await action in the Senate. And as the Vice Chair of the House Appropriations Committee on Interior and Environment, I play a leading role in the fight against climate change in Congress by holding the Trump administration accountable on this issue. Additionally, I’ve cosponsored 49 bills introduced by my House colleagues to address the climate crisis —all outlined below. 

This page was designed to keep you updated about the progress Congress is making to fight climate change—but this is just a starting point. Think I should add another bill to this list? Contact my office here.

Together, these bills take immediate and comprehensive action to combat and mitigate the climate crisis.


Table of Contents
1. My Bills to Address the Climate Crisis
2. Protecting Our Oceans and Coastline
3. Building a Green Economy
4. Supporting Our Farmers and Creating a More Sustainable Food System
5. Reducing Emissions
6. Responding to Public Health Concerns of Climate Change
7. Promoting Renewable Energy
8. Supporting Education, Research, and Planning
9. Protecting Natural Resources
10. Global Efforts to Address Climate Change




My Bills to Address the Climate Crisis

Maine has been acutely affected by the climate crisis. The Gulf of Maine is warming faster than 99% of other bodies of water on the planet. Rates of asthma and Lyme disease have grown exponentially. Acidifying waters are making it harder for shellfish to grow their shells. Coastal flooding and sea level rise have increase dramatically.

The natural resources that make our state beautiful and valuable are under massive threat. The below bills are ones that I’ve introduced to protect our working waterfronts, understand and prevent ocean acidification, and stop food waste so we lessen the amount of methane gas coming from food in landfills.

H.R. 1716: Coastal Communities Ocean Acidification Act (Pingree)


This bill would support coastal communities grappling with climate change-related ocean acidification by directing federal officials to work with state and local experts to study ocean acidity and deliver a public report on the socioeconomic impact of ocean acidification on coastal communities. It unanimously passed the House on June 5, 2019 and awaits Senate action.

H.R. 3596: Keep America's Waterfronts Working Act (Pingree)


This bill would preserve the character of coastal communities in the face of the intensifying climate crisis by protecting jobs, commercial activities, and public access to America’s coasts. This bill would do this through the creation of a Working Waterfront Grant Program and establishment of a Working Waterfront Task Force at the Department of Commerce. This bill passed the House on December 10, 2019, and awaits Senate action.

H.R. 3981: Food Date Labeling Act (Pingree)

This bill would establish a uniform national date labeling system in order to reduce confusion for consumers, simplify regulatory compliance for companies, and reduce the waste of food and money. This bill would also help to prevent wasted food from ending up in landfills, where it creates methane, a potent greenhouse gas that contributes to the climate crisis. Read more on my website here.

H.R. 5607: School Food Recovery Act (Pingree)

This bill would create a new program at USDA that would provide grants to schools to work on food waste reduction projects. Food waste emits methane, a harmful greenhouse gas, and squanders the water and other resources used to produce and transport the food. This bill will help address the climate crisis and empower students to responsibly reduce food waste.



Protecting Our Oceans and Coastline

It's hard to imagine a place like Maine without its iconic oceans and coastline—a crucial part of our state's history and landscape, as well as an irreplaceable resource for 30,000 thousand Mainers who make their living from marine-related industries. But currently, the Gulf of Maine is warming faster than 99% of Earth's other waters, threatening our way of life.

Across the country, coastal communities are suffering from ocean acidification, rapidly warming oceans, and rising sea levels. States like Maine that rely on pristine oceans are experiencing toxic algal blooms, increasing amounts of plastics pollution, distressed marine habitats, and disruption in the fishing and tourism industries that are the backbone of coastal economies.

We must protect our coastal ecosystems while also preventing attacks on our oceans, such as oil and gas exploration.

H.R. 5390: Regional Ocean Partnership Act (Crist)

The bill would formally authorize Regional Ocean Partnerships (ROP) as partners with the federal government to address ocean and coastal concerns.

H.R. 341: COAST Anti-Drilling Act (Pallone) 

This bill would ban offshore oil and gas drilling in the Atlantic Ocean, Straits of Florida, and the Eastern Gulf of Mexico. It would prohibit the U.S. Department of Interior from issuing leases for the exploration, development, or production of oil or gas in these areas.

H.R. 309: Stop Arctic Ocean Drilling Act (Huffman)

This bill would make the Arctic Ocean off-limits to any future drilling proposals by prohibiting any new or renewed leases for the exploration, development, or production of oil, natural gas or any other minerals in the Arctic Ocean Planning Areas of the Outer Continental Shelf.

H.R. 287: New England Coastal Protection Act (Cicilline)

This bill would prohibit oil and gas drilling off the coasts of Rhode Island, Maine, New Hampshire, Massachusetts, and Connecticut. It is cosponsored by every U.S. House member from a New England coastal state.

H.R. 1941: Coastal and Marine Economies Protection Act (Cunningham)

This bill would permanently ban offshore drilling off the Atlantic and Pacific coasts. It passed the House on September 11.

H. Resolution 589: Expressing the need for immediate climate action in response to the United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change Special Report on the Ocean and Cryosphere in a Changing Climate (Bonamici)

This resolution expresses the need for immediate climate action in response to the IPCC Special Report on the Ocean and Cryosphere in a Changing Climate, which underlined the severity of climate change on our oceans.

H.R. 3115: Living Shorelines Act (Pallone)

This bill would direct NOAA to award grants to state or local governments, Indian tribes, or nonprofit organizations to implement climate-resilient living shoreline projects and encourage innovation in the use of natural materials to protect coastal communities, habitats, and natural system functions.

H.R. 1237: COAST Research Act (Bonamici)

This legislation would: strengthen investment in research and monitoring of ocean acidification; increase understanding of the economic effects of ocean acidification; engage stakeholders through an Advisory Board; and provide for the long-term stewardship and standardization of data on ocean acidification from different sources.



Building a Green Economy

If the United States doesn’t take immediate, economy-wide action at all levels of government, our health and natural resources that support our economic growth could face irreparable harm. We must prevent average global temperatures from increasing beyond 1.5 degrees Celsius through economic incentives, and we must take advantage of the opportunity before us to create good, clean jobs that transition our energy system and create a more equitable future for all Americans.

H. Resolution 109: Recognizing the duty of the Federal Government to create a Green New Deal (Ocasio-Cortez)

The Green New Deal Resolution outlines the framework for a comprehensive and ambitious plan to combat climate change by creating millions of high-wage jobs in new green industries, transitioning our energy system and building new infrastructure. It consists of five Green New Deal goals, fourteen mobilization projects, and fifteen guiding principles.

H.R. 763: Energy Innovation and Carbon Dividend Act (Deutch)

The bill would place a fee on carbon-based fuels and products that emit greenhouse gases such as crude oil, natural gas, and coal, and return 100 percent of the revenue to American households. It is estimated it would reduce America's carbon emissions by at least 40 percent.

H. Con. Resolution 36: Supporting efforts to enact a bold jobs and infrastructure package that benefits all Americans, not just billionaires (Lieu)

This resolution expresses Congress' commitment to fund an infrastructure plan that addresses energy efficiency and green jobs.

H.R. 2741: Leading Infrastructure for Tomorrow's America Act (Pallone)

This bill aims to rebuild America through investments in combating climate change, expanding broadband access and protecting public health and the environment. This bill would invest over $33 billion in clean energy and energy efficiency efforts.

H.R. 4050: ZERO WASTE Act (Omar)

This bill would create a federal grant program to help local cities to invest in zero waste initiatives. These funds can go towards recycling infrastructure or towards the creation of partnerships with local businesses aimed at reducing waste in their operations.

H.R. 5185: Green New Deal for Public Housing Act (Ocasio-Cortez)

This bill would invest up to $180 billion over ten years in sustainable retrofits that include all needed repairs, vastly improved health, safety and comfort, and eliminate carbon emissions in our federal public housing. The legislation also provides funding to electrify all buildings, add solar panels, and secure renewable energy sources for all public housing energy needs.

H.R. 4148: Green Jobs and Opportunity Act (Delgado)

This bill would require the Secretary of Labor to submit a report on trends in the clean energy technology industry to achieve a 100% clean energy economy by 2050. It would also provide grants to establish and enhance training programs for any occupation or field of work for which a shortage is identified.




Supporting Our Farmers and Creating a More Sustainable Food System

The agriculture sector contributes approximately 10% of total US greenhouse gas emissions, therefore farmers have the opportunity to reverse the effects of climate change by improving soil health and capturing carbon in their soil. 

As an organic farmer for more than 40 years, I can tell you that farmers are our allies in the fight against climate change. Many farmers are already implementing climate-smart practices in their operations. If we give farmers and food producers the right incentives—and bring them to the table when we’re discussing climate policy—we can preserve our food system, cut down on emissions, and sequester carbon in our farmers’ soil.

H.R. 3744: Agriculture Environmental Stewardship Act (Kind)

This bill would provide tax incentives for farmers and rural electric cooperatives who invest in biogas technology.


Reducing Emissions

For far too long, scientific warnings of climate change have been ignored. It is increasingly clear that to avoid major catastrophe, the United States must immediately reduce emissions and become carbon neutral by 2050. Thankfully, now more than ever, policymakers and the public agree we must act swiftly. This will take a myriad of approaches to reduce emissions from sectors all across our economy.

H.R. 5221: 100 Percent Clean Economy Act (McEachin)

This bill would set a nationwide goal of achieving a 100% clean energy economy by 2050, defined as net-zero climate pollution across all sectors of the United States’ economy. It would direct federal agencies to use all existing authorities to put the United States on a path toward meeting the achievable 100% clean energy economy goal while remaining technology neutral.

H.R. 978: Clean and Efficient Cars Act (Matsui)

This bill would preserve existing fuel economy and vehicle emissions standards from the EPA and DOT that reduce greenhouse gas emissions. The Trump administration has expressed its desire to weaken these standards.

H. Con. Resolution 52: Expressing the sense of Congress that there is a climate emergency which demands a massive-scale mobilization to halt, reverse, and address its consequences and causes (Blumenauer)

This resolution would express the sense of Congress that global warming has resulted in a climate emergency that demands a massive-scale mobilization of U.S. resources to halt, reverse, mitigate, and prepare for the consequences of the emergency.

H.R. 4006: Closing Loopholes and Ending Arbitrary and Needless Evasion of Regulations Act (Cartwright)

This bill would ensure oil and gas companies are responsible for cleaning up and disposing of the hazardous waste that results from their operations. Specifically, thisbill would eliminate current exemptions for those industries in the Resources Conservation and Recovery Act.

H. Con. Resolution 65: Supporting the clean vehicle emissions standards of the United States and defending the authority of States under the Clean Air Act to protect the people of those States from harmful air pollution (DeSaulnier)

This resolution supports existing regulations with the goals of reducing greenhouse gas emissions and oil usage that allow individual states to set emissions standards for vehicles.

H.R. 2164: Green Bus Act (Brownley)

This bill would help cities and states across the country transition to cleaner public transit systems, including mandating that all new buses purchased with federal funds be zero-emission by 2029.

H.R. 2256: Driving America Forward Act (Kildee)

This bill would promote the use of energy efficient vehicles by expanding the tax credit for new plug-in electric drive motor vehicles and extending the tax credit for new fuel cell motor vehicles.

H.R. 4506: Home Energy Savings Act (Gomez)

This bill would extend the energy efficiency tax credit, establish higher goals for energy efficient home upgrades and increase homeowners’ incentives to make energy efficiency upgrades.

H.R. 4646: New Home Energy Efficiency Act (Gomez)

This bill would extend the new home energy efficiency tax credit, modernize the efficiency standards for new homes, and increase home builders’ incentives to increase the energy efficiency of new homes.

H.R. 5450: Cleaner Quieter Airplanes Act (Beyer)

This legislation sets a goal for cleaner and quieter airplanes by 2030 (for regional transport planes) and 2040 (for single-aisle planes), and it authorizes NASA to accelerate its work developing and demonstrating technologies to reach this goal.

H.R. 2711: The Methane Waste Prevention Act of 2019 (DeGette)

This bill will reinstate and update the Obama-era methane waste and pollution prevention standards of the Bureau of Land Management and the Environmental Protection Agency.

H.R. 2616: Clean Corridors Act (DeSaulnier)

This bill would launch a major federal program to accelerate the transition to clean transportation technology. This bill would direct $3 billion in federal dollars over the coming decade to construct and install infrastructure to support technologies like hydrogen fuel cell and electric battery-powered vehicles.




Responding to Public Health Concerns of Climate Change

The climate crisis is already having devastating effects on the public health of our communities, with communities historically subject to injustice feeling the brunt of them. We need to be prepared to support communities that are most likely to be impacted and therefore more vulnerable to asthma, food-borne illnesses, and heat-related impacts all worsenedby climate change, weather unpredictability, and highly polluted air.

H.R. 1243: Climate Change Health Protection and Promotion Act (Cartwright)

This bill would develop a national strategic action plan to better prepare Americans against the growing public health effects of climate change, which include pulmonary and cardiovascular illnesses, food-borne diseases, and heat-related impacts. The plan would identify and support the nation’s most vulnerable communities while enhancing research into the effects of climate change on health. The legislation would direct the Secretary of Health and Human Services to develop a National Strategic Action Plan to prepare for the public health effects of climate change.

 


Promoting Renewable Energy

Our reliance on fossil fuels has proven to be one of the biggest contributors to climate change. We must swiftly move towards energy sources that are net-zero carbon emitters, like wind, solar, and thermal energy. A combination of strong federal policy and robust investments will spur growth in the renewable energy economy, which will create millions of jobs across America, lower the cost of renewable solutions, and move us closer to achieving 100% net-zero emissions before it is too late.

H.R. 762: Streamlining Energy Efficiency for Schools Act (Cartwright)

This bill would establish a one-stop clearinghouse for schools to access available federal resources to finance energy efficiency projects. It passed the House on March 5 and was approved by the Senate Energy Committee on September 19.

H.R. 1479: BTU Act (Welch)

This bill would amend the federal tax code to incentivize the use of energy efficient wood boilers, stoves and heaters through tax credits for capital costs incurred in residential and commercial installations.

H.R. 2096: Energy Storage Tax Incentive and Deployment Act (Doyle)

This bill would expand the solar investment tax credit (ITC) to encompass energy storage technology and smaller battery systems for utilities, businesses, and homes.

H.R. 3473: Offshore Wind Incentives for New Development Act (Langevin)

This bill would spur the growth of offshore wind energy in the United States by extending tax credits for the renewable energy industry.

H.R. 4230: Clean Industrial Technology Act (Casten)

This bill would help the industrial sector reduce greenhouse gas emissions by directing the Secretary of Energy to establish a Department of Energy-led cross-agency research program to reduce emissions in non-power industrial sectors.

H.R. 3794: Public Land Renewable Energy Development Act (Gosar)

This bill would incentivize responsible renewable energy development on public lands and allow local communities to reap the economic benefits. It would streamline the permitting process for renewable energy development on public lands and establish a revenue sharing mechanism to ensure local communities receive a percentage of the revenue created by these projects.

H.R. 2986: Better Energy Storage Technology (BEST) Act (Foster)

The bill requires the Department of Energy (DOE) to establish within its Office of Electricity a research, development, and demonstration program for grid-scale energy storage systems and to enter into agreements to carry out not more than five demonstration projects and develop a 10-year strategic plan and cost targets for grid-scale energy storage systems.




Supporting Education, Research, and Planning

Our government must do everything it can to gather all the relevant information on climate change, support additional research, and use it to guide us into the next steps of climate change solutions.

We also must support grant programs and education so the next generation will have the tools to fight climate change. Currently, only 30% of middle school teachers and only 45% of high school science teachers understand the extent of the scientific consensus on climate change, even though over 97% of actively publishing climate scientists agree that human activity is the primary cause of climate change.

H.R. 2349: Climate Change Education Act (Dingell)

This legislation promotes education programs focused on climate to improve the public’s understanding of changes. The Climate Change Education Act creates a grant program at the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) to assist state and local education agencies, institutions of higher education, and professional associations to improve climate literacy.

H.R. 2405: National Sea Grant College Program Amendments Act (Huffman)

This bill would reauthorize the National Sea Grant College Program, providing for the training of coastal and ocean scientists to address regional and national issues in partnership with local resource managers, researchers, states, and universities.

H.R. 4823: FEMA Climate Change Preparedness Act (Clarke)

This bill would require Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) policies and programs to reflect the latest climate science and create a climate change subcommittee, serving under FEMA’s National Advisory Council.

 

 

Protecting Natural Resources

Our waters, plants, animals, and lands are already feeling the effects of climate change. Once our natural resources are altered, these changes are usually irreversible.

While our natural resources are at risk in a changing climate, they can also play an important role in protecting us from some of the worst impacts of the climate crisis. We must enact legislation that protects our natural resources from senseless harm.

H.R. 1146: Arctic Cultural and Coastal Plain Protection Act (Huffman)

The Tax Cuts and Jobs Act (H.R. 1) from the 115th Congress (2017-2018) permitted 2 lease sales of about 400,000 acres of oil and gas development in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge (ANWR) for the first time since the Interior Department established the ANWR. The Arctic Cultural and Coastal Plain Protection Act would repeal this provision.

H.R. 3195: Land and Water Conservation Fund Permanent Funding Act (Van Drew)

This bill would make permanent, beginning in fiscal year 2020, funding for the Land and Water Conservation Fund (LWCF).

H.R. 1049: National Heritage Area Act (Tonko)

This bill will establish the first standardized set of criteria for the designation of National Heritage Areas (NHA) to strengthen and reform the NHA program, making these partnerships better functioning and able to advance economic, cultural, historic, environmental, and community development.



Global Efforts to Address Climate Change

Our country once led the world on climate change solutions, but under the Trump administration, we’re lagging far behind. We must immediately re-enter the Paris Climate Agreement and reemerge as the global leader on climate change—which is one of our greatest national security threats.

H.R. 9: Climate Action Now Act (Castor)



This bill would direct the President to develop a plan for the United States to meet its nationally determined contribution under the Paris Agreement.

H.R. 1201: Climate Change National Security Strategy Act (Lynch)

This bill would direct federal departments and agencies to ensure that climate change-related impacts are fully considered during the development of national security doctrine, policies, and plans.

H.R. 4263: Act for the Amazon Act (DeFazio)

This bill will pressure Brazil to fight the Amazon wildfires and reduce deforestation by banning Brazilian imports contributing to deforestation, freezing targeted aid funding to Brazil and prohibiting the Trump administration from negotiating a Free Trade Agreement with Brazil.

H.R. 4986: Green Climate Fund Authorization Act (Espaillat)

This bill would authorize appropriations to the Green Climate Fund, an independent, multilateral fund established by the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change to help developing countries limit or reduce their greenhouse gas emissions and adapt to climate change.

H. Con. Resolution 15: Expressing the commitment of the Congress to the Paris Agreement (Huffman)

This resolution reaffirms Congress's commitment to the Paris Agreement to combat climate change and states that the United States is still in the agreement and should not withdraw.

H. Resolution 743: Resolution Condemning Trump’s Withdrawal from Paris Climate Agreement

This resolution condemns Trump's withdrawal from the Paris Climate Agreement.

H. Resolution 762: Resolution recognizing the 4th anniversary of the Paris Climate Agreement (Lowenthal)

This resolution recognizes the 4th anniversary of the adoption of the international Paris Agreement on climate change.

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