Our planet is facing the catastrophic crisis of climate change, and if we do not enact swift, bold public policy change, nationally and internationally, the current Administration’s reckless and immoral policies threaten our very survival, and the systematic removal of scientists from all relevant agencies threatens our democracy and our global survival. According to America’s Health Rankings from 2018, Indiana ranks 6th worst for air pollution in America[1]. Air pollution, particularly the fine particles emitted from coal plants, can lead to asthma, cancer, premature births, and infant death. Hoosiers that suffer the most from this pollution tend to be concentrated in rural areas and lower-income communities. The Trump Administration has been rescinding regulations that protect clean air and clean water while shifting the burden of pollution away from the polluting companies to the taxpayer. Additionally, President Trump has withdrawn from the Paris Climate Accord, an international agreement to combat the disastrous effects of climate change including increased droughts, loss of human development in coastal areas, and increased frequency and severity of storms. Historically, legislation has favored fossil fuel companies at the expense of our public health and the future of this planet. However, the necessity of moving toward a green economy presents real opportunity for coordination between the government, labor unions and entrepreneurs.

We must promote policies that invest in good jobs, clean energy and modern infrastructure to meet the demands of the clean energy economy. We must preserve and implement necessary environmental protections, and engage in bipartisan talks about climate solutions. We need to re-imagine electric utilities, energy use, and environmental stewardship for the 21st century. We must set a goal of achieving net-zero climate pollution. It is the moral obligation of Congress to our children, grandchildren and generations to come. By making investments in clean energy research and development, creating cutting-edge manufacturing jobs, investing in green transportation infrastructure, promoting job-training programs, and protecting workers’ rights, we can solve this historic challenge and establish a 21st century economic model that protects the planet and helps workers get ahead and stay ahead.