Mike Levin on Climate Change Policy

Question #1 to Mike Levin, asked by Piper Griffis (’29) on behalf of Grade 6.

“What specifically can you do to prevent the negative effects of climate change locally and globally?”

I am really honored to serve on the select committee for the climate crisis. I think we know here in north county San Diego that our climate is changing. It’s not theoretical for us. We see it, we feel it, we live it. Weather is wildfires, droughts, coastal erosion, or bluffs collapsing, and I’ve been able, with my background as a clean energy advocate and from being an environmental attorney and my service now for 3 ½ years and from working with my colleagues to pass the biggest climate bill in the history of the United States, the history of any country. It’s called the Inflation Reduction Act, which is a little bit of a broader title because there’s a lot of different things in the bill as well, but included in that bill are $370 billion worth of investments, tax policies, and other investments to make it easier for individuals and businesses to make good decisions about reducing their greenhouse gas footprint. Whether it’s the way that we move goods around, the way that we move people around, the way we build buildings, the way we grow food, or the way we generate electricity to do all of the above, the Inflation Reduction Act is actually going to make a big difference and it’s also going to provide predictability so that if you want to put solar on your roof or batteries in your business, or you want to invest in industrial plants that manufacture electric vehicles or solar panels or you name it, you’ll now have more predictability and certainty. The Inflation Reduction Act is supposed to reduce emissions on the independent modeling by 40% below 2005 levels by 2030, 40%, so that, for me, means we have 60% more to go, which is why it’s so important that we continue the work that we’re doing and we continue the momentum we are making. And all that is at risk depending on who wins this election because unfortunately many of my friends across the aisle deny the existence of the climate crisis at all. I would offer to you that the Republican party of the United States is the only major political party of any major industrialized nation that doesn’t broadly accept climate science. I have some of the best climate scientists in the entire world right here in our district at the Scripps Institution of Oceanography at UC San Diego. The least I can do as a representative is listen to them and act as the science demands.

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