Protecting our environment and our public lands is an obligation on us all. The health of our environment directly affects our public health and our economy. In Congress, I will defend our clean air and water and will fight for policies that promote renewable energy, conservation, and keeping public lands in public hands. We live in one of the most beautiful and naturally diverse states in the country, and it is our responsibility to maintain these valuable but fragile ecosystems so that our wildlife can thrive and future generations can enjoy the beauty of our region. Thoughtful stewardship of our environment is essential for long-term economic and climate sustainability.
We are experiencing the symptoms of climate change today, with devastating impact to the environment and the economy, to people and to property. In Washington, our forests and plains spend each summer burning. California has experienced the largest wildfires in its history. Houston was underwater, with lives lost, families displaced, and thousands of homes and small businesses damaged. Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands have felt the wrath of larger-than-ever hurricanes, with Florida and the East Coast in similar paths of destruction.
Climate change is no longer a hypothetical future or a piece of abstract data. It is real, it is happening now, and it is wreaking havoc from coast to coast and around the world. It is the greatest threat we face today. We need to elect serious advocates for the health of our planet to adjust our course of history and avert the coming environmental catastrophe.
To solve the issue, we must come up with wide-ranging solutions while reclaiming our moral authority to lead the world in this challenge. That means adhering to the Paris Climate Accord, and taking care of our lands at home, ensuring that our public lands remain protected from harmful private industries and open to the public; it means funding the Environmental Protection Agency, keeping the Clean Power Plan intact, and keeping our water and air free from harmful pollutants. We must also commit to energy solutions that make sense for our future, which means ending oil and gas bailouts, investing in research and development, and becoming a global leader in clean energy technology and green mass transit solutions.
If we can keep America’s forests and other natural systems healthy despite climate change, they also can provide an important climate solution. U.S. forests and forest products currently capture and store 13% of our nation’s annual carbon emissions. New research suggests that these natural systems could provide much more carbon capture if we invest in conservation, restoration, and stewardship. Strong federal policies to support natural climate solutions can help make this possible. With our carbon-rich forests, wetlands, and other natural systems, Washington state is positioned to be a global leader in this effort.
The time for talk is over. We deserve action on addressing this threat. Republicans in Congress will continue to bow to the will of powerful interests, putting oil industry executives ahead of the health and prosperity of Americans and the planet. We need to come together as a society and do what we’ve done so many times before. When I am elected in Washington’s 8th District, I promise to represent the people and the planet we live on, and not powerful corporate interests.
There is no threat too great, no problem too complex, that we cannot solve if we put our best and brightest on the task.