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House Passes Bill to Protect Great Lakes from Climate Change

May 2, 2019
Press Release

Climate Action Now Act Would Combat Climate Change, Support Michigan’s Economy

Congressman Dan Kildee (MI-05), Chief Deputy Whip of the House Democratic Caucus, today applauded the passage of H.R. 9, the Climate Action Now Act, in the U.S. House of Representatives. The bill would require the Trump Administration to remain in the Paris Climate Accord, a global effort to combat climate change and its impacts.

Climate change is directly affecting the Great Lakes, hurting Michigan’s economy and job growth. Increasing temperatures cause extreme weather, harmful algal blooms and declining cold-water fish populations that hurt Michigan’s tourism and fishing industries. Furthermore, water level changes severely alter the trade and shipping industries as cargo ships adjust their trips in the lakes. 

“We must combat climate change to protect Michigan’s economy, our Great Lakes and our future. The Great Lakes support millions of good-paying jobs in the tourism, boating and fishing industries, and the Great Lakes are a part of what define us as a state. If we don’t act now, the Great Lakes will be forever altered by climate change,” said Congressman Kildee. “I am proud to see a new Democratic majority in the U.S. House of Representatives take this important action to protect our Great Lakes. The Senate should act on this important piece of legislation right away.”

On June 1, 2017, President Donald Trump announced his intention to withdraw the U.S. from the Paris Agreement, making the U.S. the only country to reject the global pact to combat climate change.

The Climate Action Now Act would prohibit any federal funds from being used to take any action to advance the withdrawal of the U.S. from the Paris Agreement. Additionally, it requires the President to develop and make public a plan for how the U.S. will meet its commitment to reduce pollution within 120 days.

To abide by the Paris Climate Accord, Congressman Kildee is committed to bold policy solutions at home. This includes investing in 21st century technologies, like electric vehicles, to create good-paying jobs and reduce emissions.

Congressman Kildee represents 118 miles of Lake Huron shoreline, and today’s vote is a part of his continued efforts to protect the Great Lakes. Since his first term, Congressman Kildee has fought to fully fund the Great Lakes Restoration Initiative (GLRI), which protects the lakes from pollution and invasive species. President Trump’s budget has continuously sought to eliminate funding for the GLRI.

Congressman Kildee also leads the effort to protect the Great Lakes from Canada’s proposed permanent nuclear waste storage site, meeting with Canadian officials and introducing legislation to oppose the construction of the site. Congressman Kildee has also fought against harmful aquaculture that can introduce invasive species and supports bipartisan legislation to prioritize and enact long-term measures to stop the spread of these species.

The passage of the Climate Action Now Act today in the House is the latest action by a new Democratic majority to make Congress work for the people. In recent weeks, A Democratically-elected House acted to pass other key pieces of legislation, including:

  • H.R. 1, the For the People Act, to expand voting rights for Americans, reduce the dominance of big money in politics, and ensure that public officials work for the people, not special interests.
  • H.R. 8, Bipartisan Background Checks Act, long-overdue gun violence prevention legislation that requires background checks for gun sales and transfers to keep guns out of the hands of criminals and bad actors. 
  • H.R. 7, the Pay Check Fairness Act, which strengthens and closes loopholes in existing law, including the 1963 Equal Pay Act, to help ensure that women and men get paid the same if they are doing the same work.
  • H.J. Res 46, a privileged resolution to terminate President Trump’s national emergency declaration to illegally fund his border wall on the U.S.-Mexico border.
  • H.R. 1585, the reauthorization of the Violence Against Women Act, which seeks to end instances of domestic violence, dating violence, sexual assault and stalking by improving law enforcement response to violence and funding local programs to support victims.
  • H.R. 1644, the Save the Internet Act, which restores net neutrality protections, ensuring that the internet is open to all Americans and free from interference.

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