WASHINGTON, DC—Today, Congressman John Garamendi (D-CA) issued the following statement to recognize Earth Day, 2021:
“There is no Planet B. On this Earth Day, I am recommitting myself to doing everything in my power to protect our air, water, and ecosystems for this generation and those to come,” Garamendi said. “2020 was tied for the hottest year on record, and recent climate reports paint a grim picture for the future of our planet if we don’t act now,” Garamendi said. “Mother nature is crying out for help, and we must all heed her warning and answer the call before the climate crisis permanently upends our lives and our world. As a public servant, I have and will continue to spend my career fighting to address the existential threat of climate change.
“In 1997, when I was serving as Deputy Secretary of Interior, President Clinton and Vice President Gore called on me to help draft the American position in the Kyoto Protocol during the Kyoto Climate Conference,” Garamendi continued. “The Kyoto Protocol established clear goals and metrics with which to control greenhouse gas emissions and abate the effects of climate change.
“I haven’t let up on the fight for our climate since. Today, as a senior member of the Transportation and Infrastructure Committee, I am working with the White House and my colleagues in Congress to pass an infrastructure package that will provide climate resilience, promote the use of electric vehicles and renewable energy, and rebuild our nation’s crumbling infrastructure,” Garamendi continued.
“In Congress, I also serve as Chairman of the Armed Services Subcommittee on Readiness—which controls over one-third of the military’s authorizations” Garamendi continued. “I’ve used this role to pass unprecedented legislation that requires the U.S. military—the largest institutional consumer of oil in the world—to aid in the fight against the climate crisis and institute measures that decrease its carbon footprint.
“As Readiness Chairman, I’ve enacted policies into law that require the military to bolster its energy resiliency efforts,” Garamendi continued. “The Department of Defense projects that it spends approximately $4 billion on installation energy annually—most of which is derived from fossil fuels. I successfully included language in the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA), which was signed into law last December, that requires the Department of Defense to reduce its fossil fuel consumption by 30%, expand the use of renewable energies, increase the use of electric vehicles, and utilize $65 million in funding to cultivate new technologies that will reduce the military’s fossil fuel consumption.
“I’ve also enacted policies into law that require the Department of Defense to address contamination associated with per- and polyfluorinated (PFAS) compounds around military installations that are poisoning local water supplies. This will put us one significant step closer to achieving clean drinking water for all,” Garamendi continued.
“As Readiness Chairman, I’ve also required the Department of Defense to account for the effects of climate change in any of its new installation development decisions,” Garamendi continued. “These are all critically important steps to ensure that our government becomes an ally in the fight to combat climate change. I will always spend my time in Congress fighting to enact climate conscious policies.
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