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Energy & Environment

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Rep. Houlahan speaking behind podium

As an engineer and a scientist, I understand the grave threat that the climate crisis poses to America and the world at large: Climate change is real and human behavior is making it worse. The adverse effects will impact not only the natural environment but also our national security and our economic vitality. Our community has experienced these effects firsthand - the extreme rainfall, winds, and flooding from Hurricane Ida severely damaged homes, businesses, and infrastructure across our region. I am committed to fighting for legislation with actionable measures to mitigate these negative impacts and stop climate change in its tracks. 

The moment is now to invest in cleaner energy sources, grid electrification, climate resiliency, and technologies to reduce our carbon footprint. That is why I was proud help get the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act signed into law. Among other measures, this package included historic investments in carbon reduction, public transportation, power and grid infrastructure, low or zero emission vehicles, electric vehicle charging, environmental justice and remediation, ecosystem restoration, and climate resilience.  

Most recently, I was proud to vote to pass the Inflation Reduction Act, which makes historic investments in clean energy and is expected to reduce emissions by approximately 40% by 2030. The Act, which passed in August 2022, will provide tax credits and other incentives to help consumers, particularly lower- and middle-income individuals, buy electric vehicles and other energy-efficient appliances. It invests in clean energy manufacturing, ensuring that America can remain a global leader in innovation and energy development while also being a leader in the fight against climate change. The bill also invests in the manufacturing of solar panels, wind turbines, batteries, and more. This legislation focuses on making significant and sensible changes, including investing in disadvantaged and rural communities to make sure no one is left behind. 

This moment is not only a crisis; it is also an opportunity. I applaud those businesses that have made sustainability a priority—not only is it good for the environment, but it also often cuts costs and encourages innovation. I will work to support businesses that take action to fight climate change. For example, I helped SoMax BioEnergy secure a $250,000 grant that they were awarded for innovative wastewater treatment. This award will help advance the next stage of a cutting-edge water recovery platform which turns wastewater into an energy-producing, revenue-generating product at a municipal-owned facility in the borough of Phoenixville. 

In November 2021, I was proud to represent our community at the COP26 international climate conference in Glasgow. Upon my return, I participated in a student Town Hall at West Chester University titled, “Climate and Congress” where I, alongside professors from the sciences and sustainability disciplines, discussed climate policy and the future impact of these measures with environmentally minded students.  

I also cosponsored the Energy Innovation and Carbon Dividends Act. This legislation would allow the U.S. to reach net-zero climate pollution by 2050 by imposing a fully refundable carbon fee, shifting the cost of pollution from consumers to emitters. I have also continued to support funding for the Environmental Protection Agency and other federal agencies that conduct inspections of our existing energy infrastructure, including pipelines, and enforce the laws to ensure compliance with environmental regulations. 

I have been proud to vote for legislation which united my colleagues on both sides of the aisle in major victories for conservation efforts, including the John D. Dingell, Jr. Conservation, Management and Recreation Act and the Great American Outdoors Act. As a result of these efforts, the Land and Water Conservation Fund is permanently funded and will support the protection of federal public lands and waters including national parks, forests, wildlife refuges and recreation areas. I was also proud to cosponsor the Recovering America’s Wildlife Act, which passed the House with bipartisan support. This bill would increase funding for wildlife and habitat conservation efforts across the U.S. and help protect America’s biodiversity for generations to come. Our beautiful Pennsylvania landscape is one of our greatest resources and protecting it should be one of our greatest priorities.  

Science is not partisan, and as our community’s Representative in Congress, I will continue to advance legislation that is based on scientific evidence and years of data to tackle one of the most pressing issues of our time.