Climate Change and the Environment
We are running out of time to secure our future. When I was a child, we played outside and when we got thirsty, we didn’t think twice about drinking from the hose in our yard, or a friend's yard. Today that is a frightening thought and I would not let my children dare drink out of a hose. What happened? From climate change, to lead and arsenic, we are surrounded by toxic substances that hurt us and the environment.
“We are the last generation with a real opportunity to save the world.”
~ Laurence Overmire.
You would think the right to clean air, water, and soil would be unquestionable, but that is far from the truth. It is sad to note that our “Garden State” is #1 in the nation with 105 Superfund sites. These are sites with hazardous waste that require long term clean up.
Nearly 89% of all New Jerseyans live within 1 mile of a contaminated site.
74% of these residents live below the poverty line, additionally, 79% are Hispanic and 75% are Black proving that, once again, racial and economic disparity are alive and well for this issue as they are for every other.
The environment has a significant impact on our physical, mental, and economic health. We need policies that put our health and future over short term profits.
What does this have to do with campaign finance?
As with nearly every other issue, money in politics and the current situation of our environment are tied very closely together. In just the 2017-18 midterm election cycle alone, the fossil fuel industry averaged $500,000.00 PER DAY in lobbying and campaign contributions. Over 64% of fossil fuel industry lobbyists are former government employees. They are very good at their jobs as for every $1.00 spent on lobbying and campaign finance, the industry has a return of $119.00 in subsidies. The fossil fuel industry outnumbers the Renewable Energy lobby 13 to 1 in contributions and is the real reason why environmental deregulation is rampant under the Trump Administration. Getting rid of environmental protections lets corporations make a quick buck at the expense of future generations.
Just as I believe healthcare is a human right, I also firmly believe we have the right to clean air, water and soil.
I helped fight in my local town to have our NJ legislature put a referendum on the ballot to address this under a NJ Green Amendment which would not end development, but ensure that it is done right THE FIRST TIME, so we taxpayers are not left on the hook for these billion dollar cleanups and the decades long and costly legal battles that go with them.
As a Senator who is not influenced by money, I will stand up to this industry and demand accountability. The fossil fuel industry will tell you that environmental protection means less jobs, but we can reel in the emissions that drive climate change and create an environment that we can thrive in. I support the Green New Deal.
- We need to invest in renewable clean energy and the millions of jobs that will come with it and help fossil fuel workers transition into it.
- We need to rejoin the global effort to reduce emissions.
- We need a $15 minimum wage and more affordable housing so everyone can have a roof over their head.
- We need to reduce the harmful effects of toxic pollution on our communities
- We need more efficient, cheaper public transportation for everyone