California is plagued by fire, Lake Michigan’s water is at record highs, and Lake Erie is becoming undrinkable due to algae. The red tides of Florida foreshadow the green algae of the Great Lakes and threaten the world’s largest supply of fresh water. Glaciers are melting, and the Amazon is burning.
Scientific evidence for warming of the climate system is unequivocal. The planet's average surface temperature has risen about .9 degrees Celsius (1.62 degrees Fahrenheit), a change driven largely by increased carbon dioxide and other human-made emissions into the atmosphere. Most of this has occurred in the last 35 years. If we don’t limit global warming to no more than 2.7 degrees Fahrenheit, we won’t be able to fix it. Ever. The Paris Agreement pledges to limit temperature rises to well below two degrees C and we must recommit to this goal. Military and Security experts have repeatedly warned Congress and the White House that climate change will bring unheard-of conflict and humanitarian crises. Scientists agree that the worst effects of climate change- rising sea levels that wipe out our coastal cities, and an irreversible loss in our food and clean water supply- will occur if we don’t act now.
Although Sabrina believes climate change threatens human existence, and that the window of time for reversing/ capturing carbon output is closing rapidly, the difference between her approach and the green New Deal, which she supports, is one of messaging, specificity, focus, and NWI jobs. She believes that to win the fight, it is urgent that we shift our focus in the public debate.
Specifically, she wants climate advocates to stop trying to convince climate deniers that the threat is real, and instead emphasize the economic benefits of conversion. Converting will create tens of thousands of jobs in construction, manufacture and assembly in each state. These are jobs that can never be exported because they are location- specific. By demonstrating the transformative potential and profits of renewable energy, she believes the climate fight will be won more quickly through economic development. Simply put, we don’t have to argue about climate change, because no one argues with good jobs.
With bold honesty and political will, there’s nothing we can’t do. We need to mobilize- today- to turn it around, and that’s where a fighting Congresswoman comes in.
When I am in Congress, I will fight to:
· Declare a national emergency on climate change
· Ensure we achieve 100% net-zero emissions by 2050
· Transform our energy to carbon-free renewable energy
· Upgrade our electric grid and green infrastructure
· Reinstate protection for our air, land and water
· Limit pollution using emerging technologies
· Accelerate hiring by advancing clean energy jobs
· Rejoin the Paris Climate Agreement
· Reduce the federal Governments’ carbon footprint
· Encourage greater use of electric vehicles, hydroponics, and solar panels
If we want our children to have clean air to breathe and water to drink, we have to act now to reverse the actions of the Trump administration. Dangerous rollbacks have occurred in the Bureau of Land Management, US Fish and Wildlife Service, and the Department of Defense as well as the EPA since 2016, endangering the air we breathe and the fish we eat.
We can also tackle some of our environmental concerns with emerging technologies. For example, many Waste Water Treatment Plants use the Ostara innovative technology to remove Phosphorus from the effluent. That process creates a compounded Phosphorus that can never pollute water, because when it is applied as a fertilizer the Phosphorus isn’t released until the plants’ roots release their “hungry” ready to absorb enzyme. BRILLIANT! Farmers save dramatically on costs, since the fertilizer is conserved/ isn’t washed away. This relatively new (2005) technology actually prevents pollution while helping farmers.
My priority in Congress will be to fight for climate and environmental health, because without a healthy planet, our best efforts on civil rights, guns, and education, won’t matter one bit.
Protecting and restoring the environment creates jobs! Changing our system from fossil fuel reliance to renewable energy will be the transformative catalyst we need to put our region’s economy back into overdrive. Looking at California alone, that state’s clean energy policies- including deploying energy efficiency, rooftop solar distribution, cap and trade, and renewable portfolio standards, have created more than 60,000 full-time equivalent jobs per year, way more than any other sector.
We can also bring low interest loans available from the State Revolving Fund (SRF) to our municipalities from Whiting to LaPorte for water infrastructure support, to make necessary improvements to our drinking water plants, and our Wastewater Treatment Plants. My green economic plan (NWI:Off the Grid) will dramatically increase employment in the construction and production industries providing growth potential for our unions.
Building a new infrastructure with clean electricity standards, clean buildings standards, and climate-smart infrastructure investments, would support nearly 46 million jobs. Most of these jobs would be needed in higher-paying renewable energy construction and electricity grid upgrades, both sectors that traditionally drive more- and better paying- union jobs. I will work to see that Indiana takes the lead on this initiative, leading the way to a green economic future for the Midwest.
As Congresswoman, my climate emergency priority will be to mobilize federal resources, convert our infrastructure, and replace our reliance on fossil fuels with clean energy. There are a thousand steps between here and there, and I plan to take them. My plan is to:
· Get the United States back in the Paris International Climate Agreement. We must do our part, and we must ensure that other countries do theirs.
· Ban new fossil fuel permitting on federal lands and replace it with carbon neutral and sustainable initiatives
· Make grants and investment tax credits, such as a technology neutral tax credit, available to states to upgrade energy grids and storage capacity, and help the rural electric cooperatives gain access to technical resources and expertise to come on board.
· Make high-speed broadband available in every business and household in America by 2022 to make business and farms more efficient by connecting them through broadband instead of transportation.
· Stop censoring climate science and pretending it doesn’t exist. The Trump Administration censors climate science by removing the phrase “climate change” from reports, and removing climate-focused websites from the internet!
· Bring back fuel-economy standards for cars and light trucks, such as the ones supported by the auto industry, and move toward an electrified transportation sector.
· Reduce the carbon footprint of the federal government including federal buildings, data centers, and vehicles, and non-combat military installations.
· Push the White House for an emergency order to bring back 2016 levels of environmental protections as an interim measure.
· Expand our nation’s freight and passenger rail system, as one of the most energy efficient (and cost efficient!) ways to transport goods and people.
· Assist businesses transitioning to green manufacturing processes with technical support and regional development strategies, especially to encourage partnerships with community colleges and research universities.
· Expand markets for climate-friendly products such as a “Buy Clean/ Buy Green” product labeling system. Think of this potential- you wouldn’t buy a sweater with a label that says “Made with child labor” would you?
· Fix the roof! Retrofit existing buildings to reduce their emissions by supporting insulation and upgrades to heating and cooling systems, and require all new buildings to be low-emission.
· Invest in federal research into emerging Green Technologies, and help private industry partner with federal research grant recipients like Purdue and Indiana University Northwest.
· Help farmers increase land conservation and expanding new ways to store more carbon in topsoil.
· Invest in wind and solar and support rural energy development.I want to bring grants to Northwest Indiana to help develop energy conversion, storage and micro grid projects for renewable energy, such as biofuel, wind and solar.
Northwest Indiana has pristine dunes, lagoons and waterways, indigenous cactus, larskspur, and sandhill cranes. We have oak savannahs, marshes, and prairies. We can see the stars at night. We have the kind of biodiversity that most regions can’t even dream of.
For generations, steel has been a source of pride among people of NWI, and indeed, it’s the backbone of our current economy. That doesn’t mean we shouldn’t be vigilant- and brutally honest- about the pollution that comes with it. Indiana has been consistently ranked the 3rd worst state in the US in terms of the environment. Many people in our community suffer a disproportionate impact of pollution in the air, soil and water and don’t even know it. ArcelorMittal, in Burns Harbor, is the nation’s largest source of industrial lead pollution, churning more than twice as much of the brain-damaging metal into the air each year as all other factories in the region combined. They emit nearly 18,000 pounds of lead every year, along with staggering amounts of benzene, known to cause leukemia.
Environmental Justice matters to NWI, because pollution effects our health, our cognitive skills, and our life expectancy! Lead in the water can permanently injure developing brains of children. Even tiny amounts of the toxic metal, if it is ingested or inhaled, can damage the brains of young children, triggering learning disabilities, aggression and criminal behavior later in life. No group of people, including racial, ethnic or socioeconomic groups in Gary, Hammond or Michigan City should continue to bear the disproportionately high and terrible human health consequences of pollution.
When I get to Congress, I will do everything in my power to bring effective oversight, management and enforcement of our environmental laws by the Indiana Department of Environmental Management and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. I won’t shut up about the melting glaciers or the rising sea levels, or the erosion we’re already seeing today along our own shores of Lake Michigan. Not because it’s good politics, but because it’s a matter of life and death.
Indiana's Democratic Primary is May 5th, 2020
Vote for Sabrina Haake for United States Congress
Indiana's First Congressional District
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