I grew up with an appreciation of the outdoors. My dad, a small-town journalist and outdoor writer, and my grandfather taught me a love of the outdoors and public lands. I was taught that when I left the woods there shouldn’t be any trace that I ever visited.
We must do all we can to protect our environment, the Chesapeake Bay, the Rappahannock River, our beautiful rural lands, and our clean air. We must think in terms of long-term solutions, not short-term gains and corporate profits. Republicans used to care about this issue, too. President Theodore Roosevelt was the first to protect our lands by designating national wildlife parks. President Richard Nixon established the EPA to clean up our air and our waterways. Unfortunately, Republicans no longer think of big ideas when it comes to protecting our environment. Taking our environment for granted has ruined small communities, forced families from their homes, and made our planet warmer. This is not an opinion. This is scientific fact. Instead of these short-sighted solutions, we must work toward an economy powered by new energy. Solutions must begin now: retrofitting homes, taxing corporations that pollute our rivers, and working with labor to train experts in new energy businesses. Now, and in the future, more jobs are being created in the new energy economy than in coal or fracking. We must continue this growth while also increasing the cleanup efforts in the Chesapeake Bay. Donald Trump’s proposed budget included a drastic cut to these cleanup efforts. This is inexcusable, and I will fight any cuts to the cleanup effort.
We must continue to expand our use of clean energy and get away from fossil fuels and other energy that destroys our lands and puts our communities in danger of gas leaks and oil spills.