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Congresswoman Louise Slaughter

Representing the 25th District of New York

Louise Line: Protecting Our Planet

April 21, 2017
Louise Line
April 21, 2017

Earth Day is an opportunity to remind ourselves, our neighbors, and our government that we only have one precious planet and it must be protected for future generations. People all around the country are gathering together in solidarity today to stress the importance of science at a critical time for our nation and the planet. As the only microbiologist in Congress, I know firsthand that science must be at the forefront of our policy-making.

It is my belief that there is currently much at risk for our environment. Funding for the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has been slashed by the president who proposed cutting the agency by 31 percent. The president and his allies have called for drastic funding cuts for the Great Lakes Restoration Initiative (GLRI), which has provided millions of dollars to Monroe County for projects to clean up our lake front, rivers and wetlands, prevent the spread of invasive species, and to restore fish and wildlife habitats. As co-chair of the bi-partisan Congressional Great Lakes Task Force, this concerns me deeply. The lakes are vitally important to our environment, our economy, and our heritage. Congress cannot let the president's plan become a reality.

Recently, the House Science Committee chairman held a series of hearings in what I believe was an effort to call question the integrity of climate change research and the scientific method employed by the EPA. That's what the public is up against with a science-free Congress - questioning scientific facts to achieve partisan political goals that put our entire existence at risk. I think this is an outrage, and will continue to fight for a sustainable clean energy future that protects the health of all Americans and positions our country to lead the world in energy innovation.

Every single American should show those siding with the special interests in the fossil fuel industry that the public is on the side of science and action. Climate change is real and Congress cannot fall for the false choice between protecting our environment and growing our economy. I strongly believe that our government can and must do both and that's why I will continue to stand up for science.