Amy On The Issues
Protecting Our Environment
Climate change poses an existential threat to our district—from the Jersey Shore to the South Jersey farms that make up the majority of agricultural land in our state. At the same time, the Trump Administration has worked with polluters to roll back critical protections for our air and water, putting the health and safety of our families at risk.
Protecting South Jersey’s environment is critical to both our economy and our identity. In Congress, I will fight to protect our air, land, water, and shores and make our communities more resilient. I will also work to accelerate the transition to clean and carbon-neutral energy, so we can meet the targets necessary to avoid the most serious impacts of climate change. And I will stand up to fossil-fuel lobbyists and other big polluters who put profits before people—and whose degradation of our environment disproportionately impacts low-income communities and communities of color.
Now is a critical time to act. The coronavirus crisis has devastated our district, and much more relief is needed for our economy to recover. Congress must take action to create good-paying jobs, increase resiliency, and help our communities “build back better.” Investments in clean energy and resilient infrastructure satisfy all of those goals—and fighting for them will be one of my top priorities in Congress.
Protecting Our Coastal Communities
South Jersey is uniquely vulnerable to climate change. Our homes, businesses, beaches, and parks are already at risk and our economy relies on fragile coastal ecosystems to support our tourism and fishing industries. While we have made difficult and important progress since Superstorm Sandy, there is far more we need to do to make our coastal communities resilient from rising sea levels and coastal storms.
In Congress, I will fight for the infrastructure South Jersey needs to protect our shoreline. We need continued federal investment to repair and replace bulkheads, seawalls, dams, and levees to prevent and minimize the damage from floods and storms. We need to preserve and restore beaches and other coastal habitats that serve as natural buffers to storm surges and waves. And we need to make resiliency a priority every time we repair or upgrade our infrastructure, including our roads, bridges, and public buildings. These infrastructure investments are some of the best ways we can create good-paying, union jobs in South Jersey.
I will also provide leadership to reform and strengthen the national flood insurance system. We saw the current system’s shortcomings after Superstorm Sandy: insurance companies’ denied far too many families’ claims, in part due to mismanagement and abuse. I will fight for a stronger, affordable, and more sustainable flood insurance program that protects family homes and businesses in case disaster strikes.
Finally, I will fight to block oil drilling off of New Jersey’s shoreline, now and for generations to come. Offshore drilling threatens the health and safety of our families and our ecosystem and could cause irreparable economic damage. Fossil fuel companies should never be allowed to profit at our community’s expense.
Transitioning to 100% Clean Energy
I believe that we can and must power our economy entirely with clean and carbon-neutral energy. That’s why I am proud to support the 100% Clean Energy Economy Act. This bold legislation directs the federal government to use all of its authorities to reach a net-zero economy by 2050. It also puts important protections in place to ensure that we transition to clean energy in ways that don’t leave workers or communities behind. And it helps communities that are especially vulnerable to the impacts of climate change—like South Jersey—become more resilient.
I also recognize that our transition to clean energy will only be successful if states and the private sector help lead the way. In Congress, I will fight for legislation like the CLEAN Future Act, which will give states, local communities, and the private sector the support and flexibility they need to address climate change. By settings bold standards to reduce emissions from buildings, industrial sources, electric utilities, and cars and trucks, we can leverage every sector of our economy to meet our climate goals.
Fortunately, New Jersey is already leading the way toward 100% clean energy. Atlantic City is poised to be home to New Jersey’s first offshore wind farm, which will provide more than half a million New Jersey homes with renewable power. And Governor Murphy has put forward a bold plan for reducing emissions and deploying renewable energy. But there is more we can do to invest in clean energy and transportation infrastructure, like building charging infrastructure for electric vehicles and making buildings and housing more energy efficient. These investments will create high-paying jobs in our district and make our economy cleaner, stronger, and more competitive.
Preserving Clean Air, Land, and Water
Access to clean air, water, and land is a human right, one that I will always fight to protect in Congress. I want to make sure South Jersey is a safe and healthy community where all children have the opportunity to succeed and thrive.
Sadly, pollution threatens the health of too many families in our district, including many families of color. And decades of discrimination have allowed industrial pollution to concentrate in low-income neighborhoods. I will fight for environmental justice, recognizing that we cannot address climate change if we continue to leave impacted communities behind.
President Trump has made it much harder for our communities to ensure access to clean air and water. He has rolled back 100 environmental rules—allowing polluters to pump toxic mercury, lead, and chemicals into the environment; weakening emission standards for power plants, cars, and trucks; eliminating safety measures that protect against oil spills; and more. I will fight to block, repeal, or reverse Trump administration regulations that help polluters or threaten our environment. And I will always stand up to fossil fuel lobbyists who put their own bottom lines before our community’s health.
I will also protect our open spaces. New Jersey is the most densely populated state in the country, and our public lands and parks are vital to our sense of community and wellbeing. Moreover, public lands create and support good-paying jobs. In Congress, I will support investments to grow our outdoor economy; support recreation and tourism, especially as we recover from the coronavirus pandemic; and rebuild crumbling infrastructure within our parks, lands, and forests. I will oppose all efforts to privatize or undermine our public lands.
Supporting Our Farmers and Rural Economy
One of the reasons I am so concerned about climate change is because of the threat it poses to farmers and producers in our district. South Jersey needs leaders in Washington who will fight for the resources and support needed for our agricultural industry to effectively respond to climate change.
That’s why I will support the Conservation Stewardship Program and the Environmental Quality Incentives Program in Congress, and work to greatly expand them so that more farmers are rewarded for using sustainable practices like cover crops and soil conservation. I will fight for investments in local and regional food markets, in organic and urban agriculture, and in programs that help veterans and new farmers start agricultural careers. And I will work to expand funding for rural energy programs to support clean and distributed electricity generation. We need to do more to encourage and reward farmers and rural businesses for using clean energy or energy efficiency to reduce their energy costs.
In Congress, I will also support a bold research and development program geared towards helping agriculture become more resilient, more profitable, and more environmentally sustainable. At the same time, I recognize that family farmers and producers need a strong safety net to weather the uncertainties caused by climate change. I will fight to protect and strengthen risk management programs, while making sure that family farmers in South Jersey have access to the workforce and markets they need to compete and prosper.