Energy and Environment

The natural treasures that make Rhode Island such a special place to call home require steadfast stewardship. David understands the importance of this responsibility, and has worked hard in Congress to defend our environment and advance the development of renewable energy technology.

David has been a tireless advocate for key programs in support of land and water conservation, and has fought against efforts to undermine common sense environmental programs like the National Ocean Policy, which helps states better manage vital ocean resources. David has backed legislation that would safeguard the Land and Water Conservation Fund, an initiative that uses non-taxpayer funds to support our parks, waterways, and public lands. Working with his Rhode Island colleagues in Congress, David has championed programs that brought more than $18 million for Clean Water and Safe Drinking Water State Revolving Funds that provide low interest loans for projects that help protect and enhance water quality in Rhode Island.

At the same time, David is standing up for efforts to address climate change, and the undeniable science that tells us carbon pollution is threatening the health of our environment and the public. In the United States, 2015 marked the 19th consecutive year in which average temperatures exceeded the average of the preceding century. We know that rising global temperatures create more extreme weather events, not only damaging our most precious natural resources, but also costing billions of dollars in economic losses. That’s why David has been a strong supporter of President Obama’s Climate Action Plan, which calls on the United States and partners throughout the world to commit to reductions in carbon pollution.

Here at home, David has fought for resources, including nearly $1 million in federal funding, to make certain Rhode Island has the tools it needs to better study the effects of severe weather on our coastline, and provide effective response and resilience capabilities. David has been a determined advocate in defense of Rhode Island’s coastline, supporting legislation, the Clean Ocean and Safe Tourism (COAST) Anti-Drilling Act, which would prohibit the government from issuing leases for the exploration, development, or production of oil or gas drilling off the coast of the Ocean State. David has long been a champion of Rhode Island’s many spectacular landscapes, and introduced legislation, later signed into law, that created the Blackstone River Valley National Historical Park. The National Park, which includes portions of Pawtucket, North Smithfield, and Cumberland, will help preserve and protect a vitally important landscape and its historical and cultural assets for generations to come.

But while David has been advancing common sense environmental protections in Congress, he also knows that in order to protect Rhode Island’s air, water, and other natural resources today and years into the future, we need to end our reliance on the fossil fuels that pollute and degrade our ecosystem. In Congress, he’s supported legislation to extend tax credits for electricity produced by renewable sources like wind, solar, and hydropower. David has backed efforts to ensure that renewable energy on Rhode Island’s electricity grid is properly accounted for when determining the supply and demand costs of energy in the state. This effort not only strengthens the value of the renewable energy resources that provide clean power to our state and region, but also helps reduce the costs of electricity for Rhode Island consumers.

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