Scientific evidence leaves no doubt that our global climate is changing as a result of greenhouse gases produced by human activity. The U.N. Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, which won a Nobel Prize in 2007 and is the world’s leading organization in assessing climate change, has found that greenhouse gas emissions have risen to unprecedented levels.
I am working to protect Washington state’s environment and mitigate the devastating effects of greenhouse gas emissions. Preserving the wildlife, lands and waters that make the Pacific Northwest unique is important to maintaining a healthy economy and a high quality of life now and for future generations.
Our country needs a rational, national energy policy that creates and keeps clean energy jobs within the U.S. Northwest Washington is already a leader when it comes to renewable energy, and I am working to strengthen our region’s role as a hub for sustainable energy. I am a strong supporter of research funding, technology development and tax credits to grow our investment in clean energy and create new jobs in the private sector. Following the historic climate change agreement in Paris, our country and our region must take action to lead the way on renewable energy.
Investing in Green Jobs
- Fought for assistance for state and local governments to become more energy efficient. For example, Whatcom County is using federal funds to weatherize thousands of homes, creating good jobs for out of work contractors and saving families money on their energy bills.
- Cosponsored the Clean Energy Technology Manufacturing and Export Assistance Act of 2011 to promote manufacturing of clean energy technology to create green jobs.
- As part of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009, I supported increasing the Bonneville Power Administration's borrowing authority by $3.25 billion to help modernize Washington state's electricity grid, integrate wind power and other renewable energy sources and create jobs.
Supporting Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency
- Supported establishing the WSU Center for Excellence for Alternative Jet Fuels and the Environment, which seeks to develop cleaner fuel to reduce carbon emissions.
- Support the Navy’s ongoing efforts to reduce energy use. Naval Air Station Everett is a national leader and is home to a barracks that is one of the most sustainable buildings in the Navy as rated by the U.S. Green Building Council.
- Voted for and Congress passed a landmark energy bill, the Energy Independence and Security Act of 2007, which invests in alternative fuels and makes cars and trucks more fuel-efficient, saving consumers as much as $22 billion at the pump annually.
- Pushed for increased investment in transit options and supported investments like the Mukilteo Ferry Terminal improvements to make multimodal transportation more accessible for commuters. With my support, the Mukilteo ferry terminal project received a $10 million TIGER Grant to help pay for a new terminal that improves safety, traffic congestion and ease of access.
Taxes and Subsidies
- Voted for tax credits for renewable energy as part of the FY2016 spending bill, which allow wind and solar projects in our state to move forward.
- Voted for comprehensive energy reform legislation, the American Clean Energy and Security Act of 2009, which would have created a cap and trade system to gradually reduce greenhouse gas emissions. Though this bill did not become law, I focused on making sure reforms worked for the Pacific Northwest. For example, I pushed to make sure Washington state would be rewarded for its use of hydroelectricity, which does not produce greenhouse gases.
- Led and voted for multiple bills to cut oil industry tax subsidies over the past several years, including:
- Voted for an amendment to H.R. 4899 in 2014 that would have eliminated $15.5 billion in subsidies for oil companies drilling offshore.
- Voted to take away tens of billions of dollars of subsidies from the oil industry as part of a funding bill in 2011.
- Voted for the Energy Independence and Security Act of 2007, which repealed oil industry subsidies.