Environment

I recognize the consequences of climate change and the threats to our environment, globally and in Michigan. The science is clear: we cannot continue on our current trajectory without causing irreversible harm to our environment. While serving at the Pentagon, I led a team that worked on a first-of-its-kind study into the effects of climate change on our military installations and our forces around the globe. It is a national security issue, and I believe that we need to think about environmental security the way we think about homeland security: it’s about the safety of our families and the preservation of our way of life. 

Natural Resources Management Act and LWCF

On February 26, 2019, I proudly voted in support of S. 47, the John D. Dingell Jr. Conservation, Management, and Recreation Act. The bill, now Public Law 116-9, passed both the House and the Senate and was signed into law by the President on March 12, 2019. This sweeping package combines over 100 bills from the previous Congress and puts forth a comprehensive plan for managing and preserving our country’s public lands. You may already be aware that the bill was named in memory of the late Representative John Dingell Jr., to honor his role as a champion for the conservation of public lands in Michigan and around the nation. As a fellow Michigander and outdoor enthusiast, I find this tribute particularly meaningful.  

In addition to provisions expanding recreational access to federal lands, supporting fish and wildlife habitat restoration projects, and establishing a research and development program for drones to monitor wildfires, this bill permanently reauthorizes the Land and Water Conservation Fund (LWCF). As you likely also know, the LWCF, established in 1964, is one of our most effective programs for safeguarding our nation’s natural resources. This bipartisan initiative directs funds toward the conservation of our national parks, national wildlife refuges, national forests, and the areas around rivers and lakes.

The LWCF also allocates money for state and local governments to fund similar programs. In Michigan alone, the program has contributed over $329 million in funding for some of our most beautiful sites, like the Sleeping Bear Dunes and Pictured Rocks National Lakeshores. Additional state assistance grants from the LWCF support projects in our very own district, such as the Brighton State Recreation Area in Livingston County, the Proud Lake Recreation Area in Oakland County, and the Lake Lansing Park in Ingham County. Moreover, the LWCF distributes this funding without relying on taxpayer money, as it is supported by revenues collected from offshore oil and gas drilling. 

In Michigan, we treasure our natural resources, depend on them to keep our families healthy, and rely on them to keep our economy strong. My family are avid paddlers and we make sure to go camping off the grid at least once a year in one of Michigan’s amazing national or state parks. This tradition gives me a very personal connection to protecting our public lands. With the passage of the John D. Dingell Jr. Conservation, Management, and Recreation Act, Michiganders can rest assured that we will be able to enjoy our public lands for years to come. Please know that I will continue to prioritize the conservation and protection of our public lands as your elected representative in Congress.

Save America's Pollinators Act

The Save America’s Pollinators Act was designed to protect pollinators such as the honeybee, insects, and birds from neonicotinoid pesticides.  These pollinators are critically important to our food systems. In fact, according to the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA), the honey bee is indirectly responsible for one third of the human diet.

I recognize the need to protect pollinators from harmful neonicotinoids and understand how important these protections are for our entire ecosystem. I first became aware of this issue during my junior year of college, when I lived and worked in Kenya, with a tribe that relies on honey for a significant portion of their diet. I spent lots of time learning to harvest honey, and in the process came to love bees and appreciate their contributions to our ecosystem. As your elected representative, please be assured that I will strongly consider co-sponsorship of the Save America’s Pollinators Act and will keep your support in mind should it come to the floor for a vote. I will also look to find ways to ensure that these protections remain robust without adversely affecting Michigan farmers. 

Green New Deal Resolution: 

A resolution in support of the Green New Deal, H.Res. 109, was introduced in the House of Representatives on February 7, 2019. The resolution asserts the need for immediate, sweeping action to mitigate the negative effects of climate change and set forth potential policy focuses.

I recognize the consequences of climate change, globally and in Michigan.The science is clear: we cannot continue our current trajectory without causing irreversible harm to our environment. While serving at the Pentagon, I led a team that worked on a first-of-its-kind study into the effects of climate change on our military installations and our forces around the globe. It is a national security issue and I believe that we need to think about environmental security the way we think about homeland security: it’s about the safety of our families and the preservation of our way of life.

To that end, I agree with many of the tenets of the proposed Green New Deal. Upgrading our national infrastructure to ensure access to clean water and reduce the risks posed by flooding, transitioning toward clean energy sources, reducing carbon emissions, and creating high-quality union jobs in renewable energy industries are all priorities for me. I appreciate both the sense of urgency that the proposal brings to the conversation on environmental security and the passion of the young people who have brought this conversation to the national stage.

With an issue as urgent as combating climate change, we must focus both on big, bold initiatives like those proposed in the Green New Deal resolution and on areas where we have the most common ground and we can get passed into law. I am working on a few pragmatic measures that I am excited to move forward. I am an original cosponsor of the Water Affordability, Transparency, Equity and Reliability (WATER) Act of 2019, a measure that would provide for sweeping investment in our country’s water infrastructure and generate thousands of new jobs.

As the co-chair of a Democratic task force focusing on transportation and infrastructure, I am committed to looking for innovative and environmentally sound ways to fix our country’s aging infrastructure. I understand the urgency of this issue and will move forward quickly on climate change-related legislation.

Climate Action Now Act

I am proud to co-sponsor H.R. 9, the Climate Action Now Act. This bill, which passed the U.S. House of Representatives with bipartisan support on May 2, 2019, would recommit the United States to the environmental standards set forth under the Paris Climate Accord, which was negotiated in 2015 by representatives of 196 countries to reduce global greenhouse gas emissions. In 2017, the current administration announced their intention to withdraw the United States. from the agreement by 2020, the earliest possible date. The Climate Action Now Act would reverse this decision by prohibiting the use of federal funds to take actions to remove the Unites States from the accord. It would also require the Administration to submit to Congress a plan for the United States to meet its voluntary commitments under the accord. The bill has now moved to the U.S. Senate for passage.

More on Environment

June 13, 2019 Press Release

WASHINGTON –– U.S. Rep. Elissa Slotkin (MI-08) secured measures as part of the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA), that will help grow Michigan’s defense capabilities and support local Michigan communities. The major annual defense funding bill passed the House Armed Services Committee (HASC) early this morning.

 

June 11, 2019 Press Release

WASHINGTON -- U.S. Rep. Elissa Slotkin (MI-08) advocated for and secured critical measures in the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA), the major annual bill authorizing national defense spending, to stem the flow of PFAS contamination and hold the Department of Defense (DoD) accountable for future cleanup.

May 16, 2019 Press Release

WASHINGTON -- U.S. Rep. Elissa Slotkin (MI-08) today introduced the PFAS Monitoring Act, a bill that would require public water systems to test for at least 30 per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) chemicals, and would require the full range of PFAS chemicals to be tested after two years. Right now, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) does not require testing for PFAS in drinking water in all public water systems.

 

May 2, 2019 Press Release

WASHINGTON  -- U.S. Rep. Elissa Slotkin (MI-08) testified yesterday before the U.S. House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee on the critical need for robust federal funding to fix Michigan’s crumbling roads, and to make important upgrades in our water systems to ensure clean water for every Michigander.

 

Slotkin cited the poor state of Michigan’s roads, lead and PFAS contamination, and the need to clearly explain how Congress will pay for infrastructure funding during her testimony as she urged the committee to act.

 

April 25, 2019 Press Release

LANSING -- U.S. Rep. Elissa Slotkin (MI-08) issued the following statement on the five-year anniversary of the Flint water crisis:

 

“Clean water out of your tap should be a right, not a privilege. Five years after the Flint water crisis, we are unfortunately still working to make that a reality in the Great Lakes State,” said Slotkin.

 

April 16, 2019 Press Release

WASHINGTON -- Since being sworn in 100 days ago, U.S. Rep. Elissa Slotkin (MI-08) has drawn recognition for her commitment to solving the issues 8th district residents sent her to Washington to address: lowering the cost of healthcare and prescription drugs, getting money out of politics, and tackling tough problems with a pragmatic, Midwestern approach in order to get things done.

 

Slotkin also has built a robust constituent services operation to respond directly to 8th district residents’ concerns. Within her first 100 days Slotkin has:

March 11, 2019 Press Release

WASHINGTON -- U.S. Representative Elissa Slotkin (MI-08) released the following statement Monday in response to the proposed cuts to the Great Lakes Restoration Initiative in the requested budget President Trump released today: 

February 25, 2019 Press Release

“As someone who helped author the first Pentagon study on the impact that climate change will have on the U.S military, I have long believed we need to bring a strong sense of urgency to the job of addressing this critical issue.

 

I believe we must start to treat environmental security as a homeland security issue -- because it’s about the safety and security of our kids and our way of life. In that spirit, I am heartened by the passion and energy young people are bringing to this issue and to mobilizing for real action.