I missed this on Earth Day earlier this week, but wanted to highlight Rep. Gerry Connolly’s excellent op-ed, “Action on climate change is crucial.” Here are a few highlights (bolding added by me for emphasis)
I remember when the Republican Party was considered a responsible steward of the environment. But today, it’s moved far from its environmental leaders, like the great conservationist President Teddy Roosevelt, or even President Richard Nixon (hardly a liberal), who ushered in the first Earth Day and created the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).
How ironic that this same party now reviles the EPA, rejects overwhelming scientific evidence, votes repeatedly to gut Clean Air and Clean Water protections and willfully embraces broad anti-empiricism when it comes to sustainability.
As a coalition, the Sustainable Energy and Environmental Caucus has consistently made the case that we must be willing to make strategic investments across the board in clean and renewable energy sources, in energy efficiency and resilient technology, and in research and development to find future energy sources and better ways to distribute that energy.…
But none of this can happen if Congress refuses to be a partner.
Great nations, great generations and great leaders are willing to do big and sometimes tough things. Past Congresses have demonstrated this leadership. So let’s not think small. It’s time Congress makes an investment in American ingenuity and promotes a bright and sustainable future.
The main reason why we haven’t taken this course of action, of course, is today’s neo-John Birch Society, aka the Republican Party, along with a few fossil-fuel-owned-and-operated “Democrats.” I suggest that we start by voting out of office anyone who denies, or is “skeptical” of, climate science. Sadly, that seems to be most of the once-great, now-FUBAR Republican Party.
In the meantime, we need to use the tools we’ve got at our disposal, including vigorous enforcement of the Clean Air Act and Clean Water Act by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. We should also be proceeding as rapidly as possible at the local and state levels to transition away from fossil fuels and towards a clean energy economy.
Here in Virginia, in order to do that we’ll need to get ourselves a much different, better House of Delegates, while we hold onto the State Senate, the Governor’s mansion and the Attorney General’s office. That’s right, this battle never ends, but given what’s at stake – the survival of much of life on earth – it’s absolutely essential that we not take our eyes off the ball.