Each week until the Va-10 congressional district Democratic Party primary election on June 12, The Blue View is asking all six candidates to respond to a key question on an important issue in 100 words or less.
This week’s question: If you are elected, how will you fight back against the ongoing Republican war on the environment?
Answers below from candidates, in alphabetical order:
One of the most important things we can do with an anti-environment president is to stifle his anti-environment agenda by ensuring that, not only are Democrats rejecting bad legislation, but that we are working to win over Republicans who have some sense of the dangers involved in environmental destruction. I believe it is also imperative that as a party, we provide a unified front focused on winning over public sentiment in order to put pressure on this administration. For too long, Democrats have not stood strong and together on this issue, but if we did, we could stop the Trump agenda and eventually build a green future.
The Republican assault on our clean air and water is dangerous, and their continuing denial of science and refusal to recognize the threat of climate change is unacceptable. Unlike Donald Trump, I know climate change is real and dangerous and will work to address its impact immediately. If elected, I’ll strive to prevent construction of the Atlantic Coast and Mountain Valley Pipelines — pipelines which would cause irreparable damage to vibrant and vital ecosystems in Virginia. I will fight to protect the Chesapeake Bay and its watershed and secure sufficient federal funding to save one of our most important aquatic ecosystems.
In the near term, we need to elect a Congress that will halt this administration’s rollback of critical environmental protections. We also need to be investing significantly in renewable energy deployment, battery technology, and research into advanced energy technologies. In the longer term, we need to reenter the Paris Climate Accord and regain our position as a global leader on climate change. Furthermore, I will oppose drilling for oil in ANWR, offshore drilling, and passage of new or expansion of old pipelines. We must also improve our public transportation, which benefits both the environment and our quality of life.
The threat of climate change is one of the defining issues of our time, requiring bipartisan effort to strengthen environmental protections and prevent further irreversible damage. As a 27-year former federal prosecutor, I fought passionately and relentlessly to protect our country. In Congress, I will continue that fight to protect Northern Virginia families and communities from fossil fuel pollution, hydraulic fracturing and offshore drilling by leading a transition to sustainable energy consumption and production, developing green jobs and reinstating the Paris Climate Agreement. Investing in clean energy will safeguard our economic and national security and will improve overall public health.
I believe that protecting our environment is one of the most important responsibilities of Congress. I will work to rejoin the Paris Agreement, fully fund the EPA and push for Scott Pruitt’s removal, reinstate the environment regulations that the Trump administration has reversed, and commit to moving us towards a 100% renewable energy economy. Our environment is critically important for future generations, and Congress must protect it.
Climate change and sea level rise are real threats to Virginia and our nation, and we must take active steps to address them. In the State Senate, I have been a staunch defender of the environment; that is why I received 100% ratings and numerous awards from major environmental groups, including the “Environmental Freedom” Award from Sierra Club Virginia and the “Legislative Hero” Award from the Virginia League of Conservation Voters. In Congress, I will continue the fight to combat climate change, oppose drilling off Virginia’s coast, adhere to the goals outlined in the Paris Climate Accord, and protect our natural resources, public lands, and waters.
The Blue View will publish the candidates closing statements prior to the June 12 Primary Election.
Compiled by Stephanie Witt Sedgwick, a member of the Dranesville District Democratic Committee and Virginia Democracy Forward. A former columnist and recipe editor for The Washington Post, she now writes a weekly column for mylittlebird.com.