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.
I’m helping to lead the fight to enact aggressive policies to combat climate change. The science has spoken, and the debate is over. We are now left with the considerable task of crafting a fair, sensible system of curbing carbon emissions. To that end, I support large-scale efforts to reduce our reliance on fossil fuels and accelerate the adoption of clean energy technologies through legislation and sensible regulation like President Obama’s Clean Power Plan. I’m also proud to have co-authored the only bipartisan climate bill in the Senate, the Super Pollutants Act, with Republican Senator Susan Collins of Maine. 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.
I also want to ensure that the United States is working with our global partners to address the perils of climate change writ large and taking broad actions to address it before it’s too late. That’s why I supported the Paris Climate Agreement reached by 195 nations in December 2015 and will continue to encourage U.S. leadership on climate action.
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 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 land owners 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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