Statement by U.S. Rep. Elissa Slotkin on the Green New Deal
“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.
To that end, I support the following:
- building resilience to prepare for climate change-related disasters
- transitioning to carbon-free, clean energy sources as soon as is feasible
- reducing pollution and greenhouse gases from our ecosystems
- creating high-quality union jobs, particularly in renewable manufacturing, and providing training so workers can access those jobs
- a once-in-a-generation investment in our infrastructure, particularly when it comes to ensuring access to clean water
I’m also a pragmatist: In the Pentagon, when we built plans to address issues as critical as this one, we created a clear plan that included measurable and achievable goals to keep us on track. While I agree with the need to reduce carbon emissions, I believe that setting a 10-year goal to go totally carbon-free, as is currently specified in the Green New Deal, does not set us up for success – particularly given the range of energy sources that communities and industries rely on. The state of California, which has set the most aggressive timeline of any state on this issue, is targeting 2045 to be carbon-free.
With an issue this urgent, we must focus both on big, bold initiatives, as well as on concrete steps we can take in the near-term. This means building from areas where we have the most common ground. To that end, here are a few measures I am working on, with the goal of moving forward in the near-term:
- I support the STRONG Act, which promotes coordination among existing federal disaster preparedness efforts, to ensure that our federal agencies have the tools they need to prepare for climate change related disasters.
- I support the USE IT Act, which incentivizes the development and demonstration of vital carbon capture and removal technologies, which will reduce the carbon load in our atmosphere.
- I am considering supporting the creation of a market incentive for companies to avoid polluting, which could dramatically reduce the amount of pollution that corporations release into the environment.
- I am co-chairing a Taskforce on Transportation and Infrastructure, which will look for innovative ways to address the challenge posed by our nation’s aging infrastructure. As part of our work, we will consider how climate change will require a different approach to building and maintaining our nation’s infrastructure.
These measures are just a beginning, and I will be working with my colleagues on both sides of the aisle, especially through my role on the Homeland Security Committee, to get them done.”