Climate Change & The Environment
As a teenager growing up in Wethersfield, I first became interested in public service after participating in cleanups on the nearby Connecticut River. That passion for environmental stewardship still drives me in the Senate where I am pushing for strong policies that combat climate change, curb pollution, and invest in renewable energy.
In Congress, I am helping to lead the fight to enact aggressive policies to combat climate change. Unfortunately, under President Trump, Republicans in Washington have worked to roll back much of the progress we’ve made to combat carbon emissions - vowing to pull the United States out of the Paris Climate Agreement and ripping up President Obama’s Clean Power Plan. Now more than ever, it is important for us to stand up and do what we can to fight for smart climate policies.
That’s why I worked across the aisle with Republican Senator Susan Collins of Maine to co-author one of the only bipartisan climate bill in the Senate, the Super Pollutants Act. Our bill focuses on reducing the outflow of a class of greenhouse pollutants called Short-Lived Climate Pollutants, or SLCPs. These so-called “super pollutants” do much more damage, in a shorter amount of time, than carbon dioxide. By targeting these pollutants, like methane from landfills and HFCs from air conditioners, we can save millions of lives and prevent irreversible climate damage, all while we work toward a binding international agreement on carbon dioxide emissions.
Finally, we need to be working to preserve open spaces so that future generations can enjoy the awe-inspiring beauty of nature. During my time in the Senate, I have helped secured several changes that will help protect open space in Connecticut. I fought to permanently authorize the Land and Water Conservation Fund (LWCF), which is the main federal program used to preserve, develop, and ensure access to outdoor recreation activities. I spearheaded the effort to provide robust funding for the Highlands Conservation Act—a program that helps fund land conservation projects in the densely populated Highlands region that includes parts of Connecticut, New York, New Jersey, and Pennsylvania. And finally, after working with the conservation community for years on this effort, in 2015, Congress made permanent the charitable deduction for the donation of conservation easements. This change will allow private landowners to permanently preserve undeveloped land in Connecticut. Changes like these will ensure that our wild and scenic spaces will be preserved for generations to come.
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