Energy and Environment
Participating in a tree and grass planting near the American River.
As a father, I have no greater responsibility than making sure I leave our world better off for the next generation. I love our state’s natural beauty and some of my favorite things to do are camping, hiking, and fishing. Creating a clean energy economy will also protect our planet for future generations and create new jobs to make America globally competitive.
- Combating Climate Change
- Investing in Clean Energy Jobs
- Defending Natural Habitats and Endangered Species
The science is clear: Our planet’s climate is changing. This is a real threat to our country and the world. Climate change could mean more serious droughts, forest fires and extreme weather, rising sea levels, and reduced crops and food shortages.
I believe we can address this crisis and create new jobs by building a new clean energy economy. The Sacramento region is consistently rated as a national leader in the green job sector. We should use this as an opportunity to create new clean energy jobs and protect the health of our families and our planet.
- Fighting Carbon Pollution: While I’ve had the privilege of serving you in Congress, I’ve voted against several short-sighted and partisan attempts that would make it harder to place limits on carbon pollution and other greenhouse gasses that threaten the health of our families.
For instance, I voted against H.R. 3826 because it would prohibit common-sense limits on carbon pollution that comes from coal-fired power plants, which are the largest source of carbon pollution in the United States. During the consideration of another bill, H.R. 1582, I voted against an amendment that would ban the government from even considering the costs of carbon pollution when it issues pollution standards under the Clean Air Act.
- Climate Change and the California Drought: We have a responsibility to closely examine the impact of climate change on California, especially given our state’s historic water shortage that has hurt so many farmers, small businesses, and families. We need to better understand the full consequences that climate change may have on our area to better prepare for future challenges and risks to our state.
That’s why I joined with dozens of my California congressional colleagues to urge the leaders of the Energy and Commerce Committee to hold a hearing on the connection between climate change and the severe drought we’re experiencing.
You can click here to learn more about what I’m doing to address California’s drought.
- Addressing Climate Change in the Science Committee: I serve in the Science, Space, and Technology Committee, and we’ve examined the impacts of climate change and how we can work together to address this issue. You can click below to play a clip from a hearing where we examined a new United Nations report regarding our planet’s changing climate:
CleanWorld, located in our district, is a leader in clean renewable energy. Their 3 BioDigesters convert organic waste to renewable natural gas, electricity, and soil for California farms. They’re the only fuel producer in California that has a net negative carbon footprint – protecting our planet from climate change. Great example of the type of clean energy jobs we need in our economy.
We need to end our dependence on foreign oil and move towards a clean energy future to protect the health of our families and our planet, and to create jobs for tomorrow’s economy. The path to clean energy will require a skilled workforce of engineers, scientists, electricians, mechanics and more, all working together to power a cleaner, more efficient society.
The Sacramento region can capitalize on the growing green technology industry and is consistently rated as a national leader in the green job sector. As a member of the New Democrat Coalition, I support incentivizing clean energy initiatives and encouraging private investment in clean energy programs to boost our economy.
• Clean Energy Innovation: Energy innovation is essential to get our economy moving again. That’s why I strongly support investing in the Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy to focus on three areas that are critical to securing our energy future: renewable electricity generation; sustainable transportation; and energy-saving homes, buildings and manufacturing.
In addition, as Congress has considered spending bills that fund the federal government, I’ve voted repeatedly to protect and strengthen investments in clean energy research and promotion programs.
• Improving Energy Efficiency: Becoming more energy efficient is key to our future. That’s why I am cosponsoring the Energy Savings Through Public-Private Partnerships Act. This bill would increase energy efficiency in the federal government’s three billion square feet of building space by only paying private contractors if their work actually saves energy and also save taxpayer dollars.
An Egret on the American River Parkway. Photo by local resident Stan Phillippe.
We must be wiser stewards of our planet to protect it for future generations. That’s why forward-looking conservation policies are so important - to protect our environment while creating new jobs in a sustainable economy. Conservation not only protects our nation’s wild lands but also preserves places of historical importance such as our own Elk Grove Historic District.
• Protecting Natural Habitats and Species: Threatened plant and animal species are disappearing at alarming rates. That’s why I strongly support investing in two of our nation’s leading environmental conservation programs – the Land and Water Conservation Fund and the Cooperative Endangered Species Conservation Fund. Both are crucial for preserving protecting habitats in our national forests and wildlife refuges.
• Protecting Northern California’s Environment: I am also proud to co-sponsor the Berryessa Snow Mountain National Conservation Area Act, which would turn one of Northern California’s natural wonders into a new National Conservation Area. This bill will help manage these lands, protecting them for those who visit the region today and in the future.
• Levee Vegetation: The Sacramento and American River levees provide natural habitats for vegetation and wildlife and a variety of recreation opportunities for the people of Sacramento County. This is why I am cosponsoring the Levee Vegetation Review Act, which would require the Army Corps of Engineers to consider the ecological significance of vegetation growth on our levees and allow for the introduction of new trees.
I’m proud to say that the Water Resources Reform and Development Act, which I supported and was signed into law, included language that is similar to Levee Vegetation Review Act and will help protect local wildlife habitats, while also making much needed water infrastructure improvements in our area. The vegetation on our levees is a local treasure, and I will continue to advocate for the protection of the local wildlife.
More on Energy and Environment
Congressman Ami Bera, M.D. offered an amendment today to prioritize the hiring of unemployed workers and veterans and the use of American-made equipment and materials in mining operations. The proposal would amend H.R. 2824, the so-called Preventing Government Waste and Protecting Coal Mining Jobs in America bill, which would actually create more waste – not less.