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.
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.
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. 544: Stop Arctic Drilling Act (Huffman)
- 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. 1447: Coast Research Act (Bonamici)
- Would combat ocean and coastal acidification by reauthorizing and expanding NOAA's Ocean Acidification Program, the NSF's ocean acidification grants, and NASA's ocean acidification activities.
- H.R. 1344: Clean School Bus Act (Hayes)
- This bill would authorize $1 billion over 5 years at the DOE to fund a Clean School Bus Grant Program, providing grants up to $2 million to replace diesel-fueled buses with electric ones, invest in charging infrastructure, and support workforce development.
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.R. 501: Climate Smart Ports Act (Barragán)
- Creates a $1 billion/yr competitive grant program for ports and port users to purchase zero emission equipment and technology to reduce greenhouse gases and toxic pollution.
- H.Res 104: THRIVE Agenda (Dingell)
- This resolution aims to use future stimulus and recovery measures to build a society that enables dignified work, increased racial, economic, gender, and environmental justice, healthy communities, and a stable climate.
- H.R. 806: Clean Energy and Sustainability Accelerator (Dingell)
- Would establish a National Climate Bank, to be funded with $20 billion over six years, and could create as many as 5.4 million clean energy jobs
- H.R. 2038: BUILD GREEN Act (Levin)
- Provides funding for roads, bridges, and rail, while also dramatically electrifying public transit systems including buses, school buses, railcars, and fleet vehicles. The bill also supports the installation of electric vehicle charging infrastructure nationwide and requires new renewable energy generation to offset the energy consumed by new electrified infrastructure projects. Grants will be distributed on an equitable geographic basis and in a manner that prioritizes frontline communities and low per capita income areas while balancing the needs of urban and rural areas
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.
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. 741: Sustainable Aviation Fuel Act (Brownley)
- Includes a number of different policy options Congress should consider that address the need to a reduce emissions from the aviation sector, which accounts for 9% of the US’s transportation sector and which cannot easily be electrified, by supporting the production and use of Sustainable Aviation Fuel.
- H.R. 512: Green Bus Act (Brownley)
- Would help cities and states across the country transition to cleaner public transit systems, including mandating
- H.R. 1335: Electric Vehicles for Underserved Communities Act (Clarke)
- Would establish an Electric Vehicle Charging Equity Program to create 200,000 charging stations nationwide in underserved communities by 2030, perform a national assessment on the status of, challenges to, and opportunities for greater electric vehicle charging infrastructure deployment in underserved and disadvantaged communities, and identify the communities with the least electric vehicle charging stations per capita throughout the United States, at zip-code and census tract levels.
- H.R. 1271: Electric CARS Act (Welch)
- Would eliminate the per manufacturer cap on electric vehicles, allow buyers to use the tax credit over a 5-year period, or apply the credit on the spot at the dealership to reduce the price of the vehicle, and extend tax credits for alternative fuel vehicles and charging infrastructure to incentivize the buildout of this important infrastructure around the country.
- H.R. 794: Climate National Emergency Act (Blumenauer)
- Would require the presidential to declare a national climate emergency under the National Emergencies Act of 1976, and broadly outlines the federal response, including large scale mitigation and resiliency projects, principles of a racially and socially just transition, labor standards, and equitable hiring practices. Finally, the bill requires a report to Congress within 1 year of the declaration, with a description of actions taken by the Executive branch.
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 worsened by climate change, weather unpredictability, and highly polluted air.
- H.R. 516: Environmental Justice Screen and Mapping Act (Bush)
- Creates an interagency environmental justice mapping committee as part of the effort to document environmental racism and ensure a minimum of 40% of upcoming environmental and economic investments go to support frontline communities.
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. 448: Energy Resilient Communities Act (Barragán)
- Authorizes technical assistance and grants for clean energy microgrids to support hundreds of new projects a year and prioritizes these microgrids and their environmental and clean energy jobs benefits for environmental justice communities.
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.
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. 815: Arctic Refuge Protection Act (Huffman)
- Would restore protections for the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge stripped by the 2017 tax bill, which mandated oil and gas leasing and to preserve the Arctic coastal plain of the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge, Alaska, as wilderness in recognition of its extraordinary natural ecosystems and for the permanent good of present and future generations of Americans.
- H.R. 1416: Tribal Coastal Resiliency Act (Kilmer)
- Creates parity for Native American tribes under NOAA’s Coastal Zone Management Act so they can access this critical federal funding to invest in projects to protect their communities and sacred sites from the impacts of climate change.
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.