Our Environment

  • Let's Not Fall Behind
  • Clean Energy Is Where The Jobs Are
  • Carbon Tax Dividends: A Good Idea With Bipartisan Support
  • Protecting Future Generations Shouldn't Be A Partisan Issue

We have a choice: invest in America’s cheap, renewable energy economy now, or fall behind the rest of the world. Let's not fall behind. This should not be a partisan issue. This is the future of our planet for our kids and our grandchildren.  

I'm disturbed by the decision to pull out of the Paris Climate Agreement - an agreement every other country in the world is on board for except Nicaragua (who didn't think it went far enough) and Syria. Every other country understands acknowledging and resisting the damage we're doing to this planet is a common obligation of humanity.

Clean energy is where the jobs are. It isn't just cleaner, it's also cheaper. There are far more solar jobs than coal now, including nearly 4000 here in Tennessee. India will be selling only electric cars by 2030. Regardless of whether you believe in climate change, the fact is the world is moving away from fossil fuels.

A shift to a clean energy economy is coming. I'm interested in solutions that provide incentives for us to be proactive about embracing the change. Here's a plan that gets it done by 2050 and creates 200,000 jobs in Tennessee in the process. Plus it keeps us healthier.

Yes, building an all-renewable energy system will require a big investment at first — just like the American highway system did  — but once it’s built, maintaining our new energy system will be far cheaper than the expensive energy system we have today.

The ice caps are melting. Water is rising. Weather is changing. The planet is heating up. It's time to face the future. 

Meanwhile, Marsha Blackburn just voted against a military study of climate change that had bipartisan support. Her environment voting record is sitting at 0%. I wonder if the donations from people like the Kochs have anything to do with that? And let's not forget her odd battle against more efficient lightbulbs. It’s not hard to see whose interests she’s representing. 

We need to stop letting carbon polluters dominate our public policy. I'm not willing to let my children and grandchildren's futures be decided entirely by special interests and corporations who covered up what they knew for 40 years.

Even some conservatives are starting to think this way. There's a bipartisan idea swirling around the halls of Congress as we speak: Carbon dividends - recycling revenues from a carbon tax would be given back to the American people as dividend checks. Energy companies would be incentivized to limit their output, and Americans would be on the receiving end for once.

James Baker says he’s still uncertain as to whether humans are responsible for climate change, but that “the responsible and conservative response should be to take out an insurance plan.” Mitt Romney called Carbon Dividends a “thought-provoking plan from highly respected conservatives to both strengthen the economy & confront climate risks."

As you'll hear me say often, this isn't about left vs. right, it's about right vs. wrong. I refuse to bet the future of my children, and yours, on the idea that what we're putting into our environment is having no effect whatsoever. America, and Tennessee specifically, has an opportunity to be out in front on clean energy - the way we were when the Tennessee Valley Authority was the first to purchase a Cap & Trade Emission Allowance.

It's time to get back to doing what we do, and lead.

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