Yesterday afternoon, the President announced that the United States will be leaving the Paris Climate Accord. This is an unacceptable and catastrophic mistake that shows a total disregard for your wellbeing and our future. The central claim that joining the accord will hurt jobs and the economy is just plain false. If you look at the number of jobs in clean energy, we have over a half million jobs in the United States. Solar alone stands at over 170,000 jobs and is growing daily. Coal is less than half of that number. It is clear that embracing new technology that supports clean energy, will not only help to save our environment, but also add jobs and strengthen our economy.
The goal of the Paris Accord is not about any one country. It is simply about the planet that we all live on. There is no backup plan if we continue down this reckless path. By leaving the accord, the United States is turning its back to the rest of the world and saying that we value money over our environment. Climate change is real, and we are causing it. The economic impact of doing nothing is far more detrimental long term that saving one particular industry that is not disappearing because of the accord, but because of market demand. As a photographer who learned on film, I know that the industry has changed. While I still enjoy using film, I am not going to undermine the digital photography industry to attempt to save film jobs. I think we will always have some small need for film, just like there will be a small need for coal. Clinging to old technology will not move our country forward.
As a candidate for congress, my job is to listen to the people. The majority of Americans support staying in the accord. They know the importance of protecting our environment, and they can see that times are changing. I will fight to keep us in the accord to not only work to save our planet for my daughter, but to protect and create new jobs. I will also support programs that help with job retraining for all those that may be displaced by a changing industry. We need to look at long term solutions, not just knee jerk reactions that put a band-aid on a broken leg.
I hope that you support me in 2018 as this coming midterm election will be one of the most important midterms is U.S. history. It is clear that the majority of congress no longer represents the people. We need to elect progressive democrats as well as republicans and those in other parties that value the voices of those they represent. We need to vote according to what is best for the good of our country, and not what party you belong to. If your member of congress does not listen to you, vote them out. If you live in the 5th congressional district, currently represented by Jim Sensenbrenner, I hope that you vote for me when the time comes. I have a long term view of what we can become as a society. “You may say I’m a dreamer, but I’m not the only one.”