The recent UN report makes clear that we need to act quickly if we want to prevent some of the worst impacts of climate change. There is action being taken all over the world by organizations like Citizens’ Climate Lobby and Project Drawdown to protect our resources and keep our communities safe from disaster, but support from elected officials will be crucial in the next few years if we are to be effective in combating climate change. Let’s take a look at how the incumbent candidate for the 19th district’s House seat, Republican John Faso, has acted on environmental issues during his time in Congress.
John Faso is the current House representative for District 19 in New York State, which includes Bard. The League of Conservation Voters gives him a 34% out of 100% score on environmental issues. He has voted against putting a tax on carbon emissions. Putting a tax on carbon would give polluting entities the choice to either stop emitting carbon or start paying a tax on it. When a resolution was introduced in the house stating that Congress believes a carbon tax would be bad for the United States economy, Faso voted in favor of it.
Faso has voted in favor of preserving the EPA’s funding and powers several times, but a major deviation from this pattern occurred when he voted against funding the EPA’s environmental justice department. This section of the EPA is tasked with making sure Americans aren’t environmentally discriminated against on the basis of race, income, or other prejudices.
He has gone back and forth on air, water, and land health, sometimes voting to preserve it and other times voting against protective measures.
Faso is a member of the House Climate Solutions Caucus and has done some work to promote environmental reforms. He co-introduced the Challenges and Prizes for Climate Act of 2018 which would establish a competition with prize money for whoever could develop the best carbon capture, energy efficiency, energy storage, climate resiliency, and climate and weather data analytics technology. The act was introduced in February and is currently in committee. Faso has also called for green infrastructure, particularly for incentives for carbon-capturing agriculture practices.
Faso has been an outspoken advocate for Lyme Disease awareness and research during his time in Congress.
However you choose to vote on Tuesday, be aware of how your candidates are responding to climate change and pollution. The League of Conservation Voters scorecards are a great way to find out how your representatives are voting.
Class of 2021