Building a Clean Energy Future
There's no doubt that climate change is one of the most pressing global issues of our time. And few would argue that our nation's heavy dependence on foreign oil is good for this country: we all know that it hurts our economy and our environment, and threatens our national security.
These are issues that we should be addressing with great urgency. Unfortunately, too little is being done. There are many reasons why--the problems are complex, the rhetoric is heated, and the issues have become highly politicized.
I believe the time has come to reduce our dependence on foreign oil and fossil fuels and begin the transformation toward an economy that is based on clean and renewable energy sources.
Doing so is essential to the future health of the planet and it is critical to the long-term strength of our local and national economy.
As someone with a background in business and technology, I believe the key is to adopt thoughtful incentives that encourage businesses and individuals to reduce carbon emissions and that help support the clean-energy technology industry, which will create high-wage jobs. There is every indication that the clean energy industry will grow in the coming decades. We should take steps now to ensure that the technologies and workers that drive this industry are based here in the United States. With the right support, the 8th Congressional District can be an important hub for companies that are at the center of this new industry.
My policy priorities for energy and climate change include:
Climate change legislation: We need to pass a climate change bill that places a cap on carbon emissions and creates market incentives that enable the energy industry to move away from fossil fuels in a way that is efficient and cost-effective. Climate change legislation should also include incentives that support the creation of clean energy jobs.
Investments in energy research: Government investment in basic research has played a major role in the strength of key industries in the United States such as aerospace, medicine, and information technology. To solve climate change and foster the growth of a U.S.-based clean energy industry, we need to deepen our investments in energy research.
The Green Bank Act: I support passage of the Green Bank Act, which would fund clean energy projects through a tax-exempt corporation owned by the U.S. government. I believe this is a good model for encouraging private investment not just in clean energy, but in other emerging new technology industries.