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The Environment

The Housatonic River, seen from Webb Mountain in Monroe

I believe that we have a sacred duty to steward our natural environment and pass it to our children in better shape than we found it. 

Whenever I am home in the district, I spend as much time as possible outdoors. The Fourth District offers nature lovers and outdoor enthusiasts no shortage of places to explore.  There are many miles of Long Island Sound shoreline beaches, from Tod’s Point to Calf Pasture to Seaside Park; and hundreds of acres of forests with trails to hike. When I spend time in these places, I leave with a renewed sense of gratitude. We can’t put them at risk.

All Americans need clean air to breathe, clean water to drink, and food that is grown and harvested in a sustainable way.  Protecting the environment is not partisan.  Our forefathers understood that.  President Teddy Roosevelt established the system of National Parks and President Richard Nixon signed the Clean Air and Clean Water Acts, safeguarding these critical resources.

The Long Island Sound and the surrounding watershed are a national treasure and an economic boon.  The forests and wooded hills of Southwest Connecticut are among the most beautiful in New England, thanks to the vigilance of generations of dedicated citizens.

Since coming to Congress in 2009, I have been a champion for the environment, consistently voting for laws that keep our air, water and land clean.  My vote in favor of the Public Land Management Act helped protect more than two million new acres of wilderness and parks nationwide.  I am a leader in the effort to secure support for Long Island Sound conservation programs, including clean river and harbor projects in Stamford, Norwalk and Greenwich.  I helped secure an Urban Waters Small Grant from the Environmental Protection Agency to research and improve marine water quality at the Norwalk public beaches.  This funding will protect the Sound and ensure safe, clean water for our families to enjoy.

Combating Climate Change and Promoting Storm Resiliency

We have seen too many examples in recent years of the ravages of climate change.  Scientists and experts agree that climate change will continue to be the cause of rising sea levels, prolonged droughts and dangerously strong storms, like Super Storm Sandy. While the Paris Climate Agreement provides a path forward for the global community, the victories in the fight against climate change have been few and far between. I spend much of my time in Congress simply trying to fight the rollback and repeal of existing environmental protections and laws. Even efforts such as the EPA’s Clean Power Plan, which would be a huge step toward cleaner air and power, are facing sustained opposition in the courts.

Any plan to combat climate change must include a reduction in our dependence on fossil fuels.  I look forward to the time when dirty energy is a thing of the past.  Affordable solar energy, wind turbines, alternative sources of fuel – all of these green sources of energy are at our fingertips.  I am firmly committed to supporting the green energy economy, and I believe that American entrepreneurs are uniquely poised to be leaders in that field.

Supporting Local Environmental Initiatives

Some of the most exciting new “greentrepreneurs” are hard at work right here in Connecticut.  In Oxford, a company called Eemax makes state-of-the-art, on demand water heaters that reduce homeowners’ energy bills and reduce their carbon footprint. Eemax exports its products, and I support the tax credits and free trade agreements that help companies like Eemax grow – because their growth brings jobs to the state and a cleaner environment.  Everybody wins.  

Connecticut residents will soon be heating their homes and powering their businesses with greener energy, too.  Bridgeport Biodiesel recycles cooking oil from local restaurants, and instead of pouring the grease down the drain, they turn it into home heating fuel.  Bridgeport Biodiesel’s refined cooking oil is a viable, valuable source of energy for heating homes – and a source of jobs, too, in Connecticut’s largest city.

These examples are just two of so many innovators who are looking to solve old problems with smarter thinking.  I pledge my support and my partnership to people like them, and I look forward to the day when we take for granted that business as usual and conservation aren’t mutually exclusive.

Meet Jim

Congressman Jim Himes is a tireless voice for common-sense, independent solutions to the challenges facing Connecticut. He's looking out for the middle class, fighting for affordable health care for all, taking on special interests like the NRA to end gun violence, and working to create economic opportunity for working families.

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