I grew up hiking, backpacking, camping, and fishing throughout our Sierra. Like many people in our community, the mountains shape who I am. It’s heartbreaking to hike familiar trails and see slopes of trees killed by beetle infestations, or forests and communities decimated by fire. I see that our district is on the front line of environmental policy, on climate change and on public lands. From warming temperatures that increased bark beetle populations, to a rising snow line that impacts seasonal jobs and leads to water scarcity, the changing climate is affecting people in our district in very personal ways. And budget cuts to our National Parks and Forest Service are putting our treasured public lands at further risk, while doing serious harm to the small businesses that surround them. It’s time the most beautiful congressional district in America had a Representative willing to defend it.
As your Congresswoman, I will work to...
Invest in a clean energy future. America is undergoing a clean energy boom. Today the solar and wind industries are creating more new jobs, and power generation capacity, than traditional fossil fuels — and our district ranks in the top five in the state for solar jobs. Congress should keep that momentum going by preserving tax credits for solar and wind energy development, removing tariffs from solar panels, and adopting a national renewable energy standard. We should make a major investment in energy storage, a potential breakthrough technology that could make solar and wind power available around the clock. And we should incentivize woody biomass generation, to turn beetle-killed trees into a source of energy and high-paying jobs in our communities.
Reduce carbon emissions. While the transition to a clean energy economy is already underway, avoiding the most severe impacts of climate change requires that we quickly reduce our carbon emissions. Instead of subsidizing fossil fuels as we do now, we should put a price on carbon that brings its cost in line with its true cost to society: the costs of increasing hurricanes and fires, of a reduced snowpack, of tree-killing insect infestations. There is bipartisan support for this idea, and as a member of Congress I would work with both parties to build majority support for a mechanism, such as fee and dividend or cap and trade, that can quickly control our emissions and move us past our dependence on dirty fuels.
Defend our public lands. America’s public lands are in crisis. The Interior Department has proposed to more than double entry fees at Yosemite, Kings Canyon, and other jewels of the National Park System, claiming a need to fund maintenance. At the same time, the President’s budget would have cut $200 million from the National Park Service, including a $93 million reduction in maintenance spending. Slashing the Park Service’s budget while raising visitor fees hurts all Americans who want to enjoy the wonder of our wild places — and does immediate harm to the businesses and jobs in our district that rely on park tourism. To avoid pricing people out of our National Parks, we should instead create a permanent maintenance fund supported by government mineral royalties. And in response to the President’s decision to remove millions of acres of the Bear’s Ears and Grand Staircase national monuments from protection, Congress should reaffirm its sole authority under the Antiquities Act to make such determinations.