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
Based on a successful energy financing model that was first implemented in Connecticut, Rep. Elizabeth Esty and Sen. Chris Murphy are leading renewed calls for the creation of a National Green Bank.
Similar legislation has been introduced by Democrats in past years, but Esty said there's a new urgency to boost clean energy jobs after President Donald Trump withdrew the U.S. from the Paris agreement on climate change, damaging the nation's standing as a leader in the industry.
In a speech on the House floor, 5th District Congresswoman Elizabeth Esty called on her colleagues to come together and pass a bipartisan plan to rebuild America's crumbling infrastructure. The Vice Ranking Member of the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee said at the end of the day, infrastructure is about jobs. But more importantly, she said infrastructure improvement is about getting people to work safely and on time.