Tulsi Gabbard's OFF Act Gaining Support

Environmental stewardship has been among my top priorities ever since I was first drawn to public service. I was fortunate to grow up in Hawai`i and experience our state's natural beauty, and as I grew older, I saw the vital benefits our environment had on tourism, our economy, and the aloha spirit that makes our state so special.

The US covers virtually every climate and geographic region on earth, and every one of them has felt the impacts of climate change. In Hawai`i, warming ocean water has increased acidification, bleached our coral reefs and impacted our fisheries. Alaska's glaciers melt, permafrost thaws, and land collapses into the sea while fossil fuel companies bid for the right to drill for oil in the Arctic. Estuaries along the Gulf Coast have been fouled by oil spills, and rising sea levels threaten major coastal cities like New York and Miami. While concerned citizens have brought much-needed attention to these issues, there are others who have continued to exploit our natural environment and resources for their personal profit.

Natural disasters have wrought terrible devastation to our communities just in the last several months. Hurricanes Harvey, Irma, and Maria have created emergency situations in Texas, Florida, Puerto Rico, and the US Virgin Islands. Drought-fueled wildfires have raged across the country, with particular ferocity in California and other western states. Climate records are set and broken at a breakneck pace - hurricane intensity, flooding, temperatures, and more. As quickly as these records are broken, the Trump administration and Scott Pruitt's EPA have sought to expunge decades of climate data while clawing back as many essential environmental protections as possible. Our government does not even guarantee the human right to clean water to all American citizens - one has to look no further than Puerto Rico, Flint, or the Standing Rock Sioux Reservation in North Dakota to see the litany of issues and conflicts of interest that we have excused away under the guise of economic development.

Scientists have compiled decades of research related to changes in our climate and the effect humanity has had on those changes. Their findings, which are universally corroborated, show that our best hope to preserve our environment and keep global temperature increases below the critical two-degree Celsius threshold is to end our addiction to fossil fuels. It is with this evidence in mind that I introduced the Off Fossil Fuels for a Better Future Act (H.R. 3671) to move our energy infrastructure off of harmful fossil fuels to 100% clean, renewable energy by 2035. We only have a small window of time to act, which is why my legislation sets an aggressive benchmark of achieving 80% renewable energy by 2027. Evidence in the states proves that this rapid transition is not only possible; it's already happening. In Hawai`i, the first state to pass legislation mandating 100% renewable energy, the island and county of Kaua`i generates more than 90% of its power from solar energy on most days. This progress should be replicated across the country.

The OFF Act provides for a just transition for workers in the fossil fuel industry. By ending government subsidies for the oil, coal, and natural gas industries and closing the loopholes exploited by major fossil fuel companies, we can reallocate our resources to job training and create the millions of new jobs that will be needed to reach 100% renewable energy. Join me in supporting this landmark legislation and fighting for the clean energy future we all wish to achieve!

The Time to Move Off Fossil Fuels is Now

Rep. Tulsi Gabbard (D-HI) recently introduced in Congress the strongest, most aggressive climate and energy legislation ever written. It’s called the Off Fossil Fuels for a Better Future Act (OFF Act) and it would move us to 100 percent clean, renewable energy by 2035, with 80 percent of that transition coming in a critical ten-year period.