I have long championed a cleaner, healthier environment for New Yorkers and the American people. Since President Trump took office in January 2017, I have been vigorously fighting against his efforts to rollback regulations that protect our water, air, land, and public health. But my environmental advocacy goes back much further than that, as I have amassed perfect scores from the National Park Action Fund, the Defenders of Wildlife Action Fund, and the League of Conservation Voters. As a proud member of the Safe Climate Caucus, I co-sponsored bills that would bring an end to new fossil fuel projects and move our electricity and most transportation systems to 100 percent renewable energy by 2035.  Following devastating weather events such as Superstorm Sandy, I worked to shore up the Hudson River and Long Island Sound to ensure their sustainability for both commerce and leisure. I take pride in being a veteran in the fight to expand the use of renewable energy, promote a healthy environment, and make progress in the fight against climate change to preserve our planet for future generations.In the aftermath of Superstorm Sandy, I fought to make sure that New York City and Westchester received the federal funding they needed to rebuild. I worked to help pass the Disaster Relief Appropriations Act which provided critical funds to restore our beaches and wetlands in addition to making repairs to Amtrak, Metro North and even the boardwalk at Playland. These programs are crucial as they provide much-needed relief to homes and businesses throughout the United States and must not be crippled by partisan politics. I have passionately led the resistance of Republican efforts to reduce funding to the Army Corps of Engineers, who play a crucial role in our district by implementing essential flood control programs.
I have also made sure that two of our district’s greatest waterways and natural resources, the Hudson River and Long Island Sound, are properly maintained for the public good.
The Long Island Sound contributes between $17 Billion and $37 Billion annually to surrounding regions through tourism, sport, and commercial fishing. As a member of the Long Island Sound Caucus, I was a cosponsor of the Long Island Sound Restoration and Stewardship Act. That legislation was critical to the health of the Sound, extending authorizations for funding and supporting projects to control pollution runoff, upgrade sewage treatment plants, protect plants and animals, and restore the ecosystem for those who rely on it.
In 2016, I joined neighboring representatives Nita Lowey (NY-17) and Sean Patrick Maloney (NY-18) in opposition to ten proposed Hudson River anchorage sites by the United States Coast Guard. The sites, spanning up the river from Yonkers to Kingston, would be used for commercial barges carrying items including crude oil or other petroleum-based products. Potential spills of hazardous materials to the river would be detrimental to the Hudson River’s environmental recovery.  In addition, the anchoring process would disrupt sensitive river bottom habitats. Fortunately, the Coast Guard announced that the sites would not be established, which is a tribute to the elected officials, advocates, community leaders, and thousands of citizens who spoke up and made their collective voices heard.  A clean Hudson River is critical for the future and the millions of people who frequently interact with it.
To protect human health and the environment, it is critical that we support legislation such as Clean Air and Clean Water Acts. Time and time again, I have vigorously opposed Republican efforts to undercut the Environmental Protection Agency and allow corporations to pollute at reckless levels. The League of Conservation Voters gave me a 100 percent rating in 2018 for my advocacy on issues including clean energy, global warming, public health, public lands and wildlife conversation, funding for the enforcement of environmental laws, and, of course, the protection of the Clean Water and Clean Air Acts. In February, citing major hazards to the Hudson River and Long Island Sound, I resisted the proposed repeal of the Clean Water Rule, which would roll back the Clean Water Act’s protections on more than 51 percent of the nation’s wetlands and 18 percent of streams, according to reports. The Trump administration’s targeting of environmental rules that protect water and air quality puts everyday Americans, who rely on these resources for basic necessities, at severe risk.
Among the greatest threats facing our region was the recently proposed NESE Pipeline, which would transport fracked gas from Pennsylvania underwater through the Raritan Bay and Lower New York Bay. I recently sent a letter with ten other members of the New York Congressional delegation to alert Governor Cuomo to the dangers of this project. Williams, the company that would be tasked with the NESE project, has a concerning safety record, precipitating concern of the public health and environmental risks that it would bring to our region, especially in areas ravaged by Superstorm Sandy. I was pleased to find out that in May 2019, the New York Department of Environmental Conservation rejected Williams’s application for the pipeline, a major victory for our local waters. Tackling climate change has been a huge priority of mine for many years.  I have long been a staunch advocate for renewable fuels and have always believed that we need to invest in clean, green energy to break our dependence on fossil fuels, transform our economy, and move us into a more hospitable 21st century. One of the best ways to do that is to support a Green New Deal. I am proud to be an original co-sponsor of the first Green New Deal legislation, authored by Senator Markey and my House colleague Representative Ocasio-Cortez.
I was the first Member of Congress to demand the closure of the Indian Point Power Plant, and I am encouraged that a date has been set in 2021 to close this dangerous nuclear facility. The risks associated with Indian Point have always been obvious and pronounced. From its close proximity to New York City, to its near constant maintenance issues, to the fact that it is built at the intersection of two active seismic fault lines, this plant was always marred by inadequate planning and structural deficiencies. Add in the possible threats posed to the plant by terrorists agents and you have a potential powder keg waiting to erupt at any moment, threatening the health and well-being of millions of New Yorkers. Closing Indian Point will not only make our region safer, it will also encourage the continued implementation of newer, safer and more cost-effective sources of renewable energy.  As your Representative, I will continue to be a strong proponent of increased safety measures for our nuclear power plants to prevent devastating accidents and preserve local environments.
I have been a consistent backer of the National Park System. I was awarded a perfect 100 percent score from the National Park Action Fund on my voting record pertaining to issues including national park funding and advocacy. I strongly oppose President Trump’s decision to shrink the federally protected Bears Ears and the Grand Staircase Escalante National Monuments by 85 percent and 51 percent, respectively. I also oppose GOP efforts to allow drilling in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge, which serves as a critical habitat to several endangered species. I recognize the value of the National Park System to wildlife and the American public, that’s why I will continue to fight for its proper upkeep in a time when its importance has been consistently challenged by harmful actors.
With the widespread degradation of our environment, the selling off of public lands, and the ravages of illegal poaching that have threatened wildlife in the United States and across the globe, we must take urgent action. Recognizing this crucial fact, I am a proud member of the Animal Protection Caucus and a recipient of a 100 percent conservation voting record from the Defenders of Wildlife Action Fund. During my time in the House, I have championed numerous wildlife advocacy causes. Abroad, I have fought against the rapid increase in the poaching of iconic species in Asia and Africa. In the 114th Congress, I was the lead Democratic sponsor of H.R. 2494, the Eliminate, Neutralize, and Disrupt (END) Wildlife Trafficking Act, which seeks to counter the illicit wildlife trade on both the domestic and international stages. I was proud to have this bipartisan piece of legislation signed into law by President Obama. In 2018, I strongly opposed the passage of H.R. 6784, the Manage our Wolves Act, which would delist gray wolves from the Endangered Species Act despite a sparse population of only 6,000 in the contiguous 48 states. Wolves are a misunderstood, yet essential component of American ecosystems that must be protected to the fullest extent of the law. Preserving global wildlife is critical to the future of our planet as American ecosystems are dependent on elected officials promoting environmental responsibility through governing.