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Congresswoman Elizabeth Esty

Representing the 5th District of Connecticut


Energy and Environment

A cleaner environment is good for our health and good for our economy. We’ve felt the effects of climate change here in Connecticut with severe winter storms and hurricanes. We need to invest in clean energy and energy efficient technology to reduce pollution, create good-paying green jobs, and help small businesses and consumers save money.

As a parent, I believe we have an obligation to our children and future generations to preserve the Earth’s air, land, and water. I have a long-standing commitment to protecting our environment and working for a clean energy future. I worked for the Natural Resources Defense Council in law school and later worked to preserve open spaces as a local official. In the Connecticut State House, I served on the Energy & Technology Committee, where I fought for sweeping energy reform legislation to bring down high energy prices and move to renewable sources.

As your Congresswoman, I introduced the Collinsville Renewable Energy Promotion Act, legislation that permits the town of Canton to operate two small, currently inactive hydropower dams and generate clean, locally-produced power. I'm proud to say that my bill passed Congress with bipartisan support and has been signed into law, moving our communities one step closer to clean, sustainable power sources.

As a member of the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee, I’ve stood up to protect our local rivers, streams, and lakes by testifying in defense of the Clean Water Rule. This proposal will protect 20 million acres of wetlands and drinking water for 117 million Americans.

I’m also working with my Connecticut colleagues, Sen. Chris Murphy and Rep. John Larson, to protect Connecticut’s Lower Farmington River and Salmon Brook for future generations. These are two unparalleled environmental treasures, and they possess some of the highest water quality in our state. In April 2016, the Senate passed our bill to preserve these vital resources, and we’re now working to get this legislation passed in the House.

Cities and towns throughout central and northwest Connecticut have long industrial histories – which means we also have miles of abandoned industrial sites that are just waiting to be restored into economic assets. These "brownfields" properties are going to waste now but have the potential to become anything from hiking trails and public parks to office buildings and shopping centers. I’ve introduced several pieces of legislation to help our communities revitalize these properties. One of these bills, the Brownfields Reauthorization Act, passed the Senate earlier this year and currently awaits action in the House.

I received a 97% lifetime score from the League of Conservation Voters for my voting record on environmental issues. Each year, I sign letters urging the House Appropriations Committee to support robust funding for the Land and Water Conservation Fund (LWCF), North American Wetlands Conservation Act (NAWCA), the National Park Service, and for Wild and Scenic Rivers funding. Cuts to these programs would risk significant environmental and economic damage.

For more information on my work and views on energy and the environment or to let me know your thoughts, questions or concerns, please contact me. I look forward to hearing from you.

More on Energy and Environment

October 5, 2018 Press Release
Today, Congresswoman Elizabeth Esty (CT-5), Congressman John Larson (CT-1), and Congressman Tom Reed (NY-23) introduced H.Res.1115, which would express support for designating October 8, 2018 as National Hydrogen and Fuel Cell Day. The date October 8 was chosen because it is symbolic of the atomic weight of hydrogen (1.008). Esty introduced the measure with Rep. John Faso (R-NY), Rep. Paul Tonko (D-NY), Rep. Jim Costa (D-CA), Rep. Nanette Diaz Barragan (D-CA), Rep. Joe Wilson (R-SC), and Rep. Michael McCaul (R-TX).
October 4, 2018 Press Release
The State of Connecticut has been awarded over $30 million in Clean Water and Drinking Water State Revolving Loan Fund grants by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency that will be used to help finance community-based water infrastructure projects, including for public drinking water systems and municipal sewage plants.
September 13, 2018 Press Release
Today, Congresswoman Elizabeth Esty (CT-5) released the following statement after the House of Representatives voted to pass S. 3021, America’s Water Infrastructure Act of 2018, by voice vote. The bill is a compromise version that contains much of H.R. 8, the Water Resources Development Act of 2018, which the House passed in June. The new bill, S. 3021, contains three of the four amendments Esty was able to adopt into H.R. 8.
July 19, 2018 Press Release
Today, Congresswoman Elizabeth Esty (CT-5) remarked on the passage of H.R. 6147, the Department of the Interior, Environment, and Related Agencies Appropriations Act for Fiscal Year (FY) 2019, which included Esty’s amendment to increase funding to brownfields projects by $7 million. Esty introduced the amendment with Republican David McKinley (WV-1), which passed the House by voice vote. The final bill passed the House by a vote of 217-199.
July 10, 2018 Press Release
U.S. Senators Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.) and Chris Murphy (D-Conn.) and U.S. Representatives John Larson (CT-1), Joe Courtney (CT-2), Rosa DeLauro (CT-3), Jim Himes (CT-4), and Elizabeth Esty (CT-5), sent a letter to President Trump urging the administration to grant Governor Dannel P. Malloy’s request for a presidential disaster declaration arising from a series of powerful supercell thunderstorms that hit Connecticut on May 15, 2018.
June 7, 2018 Press Release

WASHINGTON, D.C.–Today, Rep. Elizabeth Esty (CT-5) released the following statement after the House of Representatives voted last night to pass H.R. 8, the Water Resources and Development Act (WRDA) of 2018, by a vote of 408-2. The bill also included a new amendment, introduced by Esty, that will direct the National Academy of Sciences to study how the Army Corps of Engineers currently calculates the benefits of potential Corps projects, and what they can do to improve that calculation so that more worthwhile projects are approved.

May 31, 2018 Press Release

Hartford, CT—Today, U.S. Senator Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.) and Chris Murphy (D-Conn.) and U.S. Representatives John Larson (CT-1) and Elizabeth Esty (CT-5) announced a $1.5 million grant from the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) to FuelCell Energy, Inc. for hydrogen production research and development (R&D) that is compatible with nuclear energy sources.

May 24, 2018 Press Release

WASHINGTON, D.C.–Today, Rep. Elizabeth Esty (CT-5) released the following statement regarding H.R. 8, the Water Resources and Development Act (WRDA) of 2018, which was cleared by the Transportation and Infrastructure Committee by unanimous consent and will now move to the House floor for debate. Three of Esty’s amendments were added to the bill. 

April 26, 2018 Press Release
Today, Rep. Elizabeth Esty (CT-5), Senator Richard Blumenthal (D-CT), and Senator Chris Murphy (D-CT) announced a $200,000 federal grant from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to support the City of Meriden’s brownfield remediation efforts of the former Meriden Wallingford Hospital property at 1 King Place. The hospital operated at the site for nearly 100 years until it was vacated in the 1990s.
April 23, 2018 Press Release
Today, Rep. Elizabeth Esty (CT-5) introduced H.R. 5579, the Brownfields Redevelopment Tax Inventive Reauthorization Act with Rep. Rosa DeLauro (CT-3), Rep. John Larson (CT-1), Rep. Jim Himes (CT-4) Rep. Peter King (NY-2), and Rep. Mike Turner (OH-10) in order to spur the cleanup and redevelopment of brownfields and support job creation. Brownfields, typically former industrial sites, are often vacant or undeveloped areas where reuse is complicated by environmental contamination concerns.