With the 114th Congress up and running, we are looking at out at a sea of new faces and missing some of the familiar visages of environmental champions who departed. This year we are welcoming 60 new House members and 13 new Senators. We know you want to get to know the newbies, so here we continue our look at a few new House members who we hope will continue the legacies of their predecessors.
Ruben Gallego (AZ-07) - Rep. Gallego succeeds Ed Pastor, who earned a lifetime 83% LCV score. Rep. Gallego has promised to be a strong advocate for climate action, calling it “the biggest long-term issue or world faces.” He says he’s willing to put his career on the line to solve the problem.
Mark DeSaulnier (CA-11) - Rep. DeSaulnier succeeds George Miller, who earned a lifetime 88% LCV score. Rep. DeSaulnier has served in the California legislature, where he earned a 97% score from California LCV. He sponsored legislation to reduce pollution by retiring the oldest, most polluting vehicles and supports EPA’s Clean Power Plan. Look for DeSaulnier to join sophomore Congressman Jared Huffman (CA-11) and others as leaders on the environment in northern California.
Ted Lieu (CA-33) – Rep. Lieu succeeds Henry Waxman, who earned a lifetime 92% LCV score. Lieu has a record as an environmental champion in the California legislature, where he earned a 100% score from California LCV. Lieu helped author the state’s landmark cap and trade law and says that reducing greenhouse gases and implementing EPA’s Clean Power Plan are among his top environmental priorities.
Mark Takai (HI-01) - Rep. Takai succeeds Colleen Hanabusa, who earned a lifetime 95% LCV score. As an Iraq war veteran, Rep. Takai understands the true cost of our addiction to oil. In Hawaii’s state House, Rep. Takai worked to promote clean energy conservation and he has promised to do the same in the U.S. House.
Seth Moulton (MA-06) – Rep. Moulton succeeds John Tierney, who earned a lifetime 97% LCV score. Rep. Moulton, an Iraq war veteran, has pledged to make the U.S. a leader in reducing carbon pollution. Moulton correctly believes that action on climate and economic growth go hand in hand.
Debbie Dingell (MI-12) – Rep. Debbie Dingell succeeds her husband, John Dingell, who earned a lifetime 75% LCV score. The newest Rep. Dingell believes that climate change “is a real problem that requires pro-active solutions from the federal government.” She has pledged to work for solutions that spur private sector innovations to reduce carbon pollution.
Brenda Lawrence (MI-14) - Rep. Lawrence succeeds now-Senator Gary Peters, who earned a lifetime 89% LCV score. As mayor of Southfield, MI, Lawrence voiced concern about the Keystone XL pipeline and worked to promote renewable energy and energy efficiency. Look for Congresswoman Lawrence to be a leader on these issues in the Midwest.
Bonnie Watson Coleman (NJ-12) – Rep. Coleman succeeds Rush Holt, who earned a lifetime 96% LCV score. Holt’s legacy seems safe with Coleman, a former state legislator, who has declared that she “is putting the environment first” and believes that reducing our fossil fuel dependence will make our country “a stronger, safer place to live.”
Kathleen Rice (NY-04) – Rep. Rice succeeds Carolyn McCarthy, who earned a lifetime 85% LCV score. Rice, a former District Attorney, has promised to be “a vocal advocate for reducing our dependence on fossil fuels [and] expanding investments in renewable energy.” Rice understands that addressing climate change will improve our economy and our national security.
Brendan Boyle (PA-13) - Rep. Boyle succeeds Allyson Schwartz, who earned a lifetime 94% LCV score. As a state legislator, Boyle was part of the “Green Dog” caucus and earned top ratings from state environmental organizations. Boyle has called for a comprehensive plan to address climate change. We look forward to seeing Congressman Boyle lead in the keystone state and in the Capitol.
Don Beyer (VA-08) - Rep. Beyer succeeds Jim Moran, who earned a lifetime 88% LCV score. Beyer has strong words for those who deny climate change, saying “Frankly, it angers me that some Tea Party Republicans ignore science and the harm that climate change, and pollution in general, is causing to our planet and our health.” Beyer supports a carbon tax to address the problem and will be a strong voice one these issues in the south.
As we look ahead to two years of a Congress dominated by Dirty Denier$, we hope that these new members will follow in the footsteps of the legislators who came before them. They’ll be called upon again and again to vote against proposals that harm the public health and to speak out in favor of environmental protection. These individuals should be the next generation of clean energy champions, and we can’t wait to see what they have in store for us.