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Congresswoman Elizabeth Esty

Representing the 5th District of Connecticut

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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 25, 2017 Press Release
Washington, D.C. – The White House announced today that it will direct Secretary of Transportation Elaine Chao to initiate a pilot program for local drone rules and regulations through the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA). The proposal mirrors an amendment to the Aviation, Innovation, Reform, and Reauthorization (AIRR) Act cosponsored by House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee Vice-Ranking Member Rep. Elizabeth Esty (CT-5).
October 25, 2017 Press Release
Rep. Elizabeth Esty (CT-5) announced the formation of a new, bipartisan Congressional Infrastructure Caucus to focus on investment in the nation’s outdated roads, bridges, rails, airports, transit, wastewater systems, and drinking water. Esty was joined by Rep. John J. Duncan, Jr. (TN-2), Rep. Sean Patrick Maloney (NY-18), and Rep. Garret Graves (LA-6). The lawmakers worked closely with Infrastructure Week, a roundtable of organizations from the business and labor communities, to develop the effort.
October 11, 2017 Press Release
On Saturday, October 14, Congresswoman Elizabeth Esty (CT-5) will hold a town hall meeting at Pulaski Middle School in New Britain
September 6, 2017 Press Release
U.S. Senators Chris Murphy (D-Conn.) and Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.) and U.S. Representatives Rosa DeLauro (CT-3), Joe Courtney (CT-2), and Elizabeth Esty (CT-5) applauded the U.S. Department of Agriculture on Wednesday for awarding $368,000 in Rural Development grants to help Laurelbrook Farm in East Canaan, Bishop’s Orchards in Guilford, The Plant Group in Franklin, and Mapleleaf Farm in Hebron develop renewable energy systems and improve their energy efficiency.
August 23, 2017 Press Release

WASHINGTON – As dairy farmers across New England continue to struggle with historically low milk prices, U.S. Senators Chris Murphy (D-Conn.) and Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.), and U.S. Representatives Joe Courtney (CT-2) and Annie Kuster (NH-2) led a bipartisan, bicameral group of 23 other members of Congress on Wednesday in urging the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) to use its authority to provide dairy farmers with the relief and new insurance they desperately need.

July 27, 2017 Press Release

WASHINGTON, D.C. – The Brownfields Reauthorization Act, a bipartisan bill authored by Reps. Elizabeth Esty (D-CT) and John Katko (R-NY), passed unanimously out of the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee today, setting up the legislation for a House floor vote. Esty is the Vice Ranking Member of the Committee.

July 12, 2017 In The News
Anyone who doubts that Connecticut is taking a lead in “green” energy has only to read reporter Brian Johnson’s description in Wednesday’s newspaper of a visit to Crowley Ford in Plainville by U.S. Rep. Elizabeth Esty.
July 11, 2017 In The News
U.S. Rep. Elizabeth Esty on Monday highlighted clean energy investments by Crowley Ford as part of the state’s Green Bank program.
July 11, 2017 In The News
Invasive species are everywhere you don’t want them to be — curling through your garden, killing your local ash trees or strangling your motorboat propeller.
July 10, 2017 In The News
Rep. Elizabeth Esty, along with other leaders in green energy, stopped in to Crowley Ford Monday to highlight the importance of the Green Bank and stress how investing more efficient energy can generate long-term benefits.