Randy Bryce’s Environmental Plan
Fund a Green New Deal. As a Congressman, Randy would support a massive investment in green infrastructure that would generate tens of thousands of new jobs and transform Wisconsin communities into energy manufacturers. One model for this Green New Deal is the 100 by 50 Act, which provides a framework to move the nation towards 100 percent renewable energy by 2050. Another is the Climate Change Adapt America Fund Act of 2017, which would create a fund administered by the Department of Commerce for green infrastructure and to adapt existing infrastructure for climate change. That bill would also provide Americans who want to take on climate change the opportunity to buy up to $200 million in “Climate Change Bonds.” As an ironworker, Randy got to see firsthand how labor could lead the way on solar technology and other renewable energy sources. See Randy discuss that experience (video) and hear why he thinks labor can lead in the way in creating good, family-sustaining green energy jobs (video).
End Subsidies to Fossil Fuel Companies. Each year, Washington hands billions of dollars in subsidies to oil and gas CEOs. These taxpayer handouts to one of the richest industries on earth are part of a “dirty energy money cycle” that must end. In return for their subsidies, the fossil fuel industry spends hundreds of millions per year in campaign contributions and lobbying expenses. Over his career, Paul Ryan has received nearly $2 million in contributions from this industry. Randy Bryce has pledged not to accept any contributions from fossil fuel companies and, as a Congressman, he would lobby to end corporate welfare for this billion dollar industry.
It makes little sense to prop up oil companies and create a competitive disadvantage for clean energy companies. In our region, we’ve seen WE do everything in its power to disincentivize community efforts to transition to clean and renewable energy sources. This utility company, like many fossil fuel companies, has not been a good actor in Wisconsin and we must not let them continue to stand in the way of progress.
Hold Greif/ Mid-America Fully Accountable. This company, which operates industrial barrel refurbishing plants in Oak Creek, St. Francis and Milwaukee, has committed more than 70 environmental and safety violations, according to several different government agencies. These violations include serious worker safety violations, some of which led to injury, chronic health conditions, and even death. Mid-America was also cited for dumping mercury into the wastewater and for spewing extraordinarily high levels of toxic emissions into the air of the surrounding communities. Randy is calling on Mid-America to voluntarily establish a fund to pay for medical testing and treatment of workers and community members whose health may have been impacted, so that the victims and the taxpayers are not held accountable for these costs. As a Congressman, Randy will also push to aggressively enforce existing laws to protect workers and communities from environmental hazards, and he will also push to strengthen penalties and criminal enforcement for corporate violators of environmental law.
Prosecute Exxon for Lying to the Public. Records show that ExxonMobil knew about the negative effects of fossil fuels on the health of the public in both the short and long term, and intentionally lied to the public to increase their profits. As Congressman, Randy would support federal efforts to prosecute Exxon for restitution to those communities which have been most negatively affected. Often, those people most negatively impacted by pipelines, pollution and climate change have limited means.
Oppose Further Fossil Fuel Pipelines. It is a false choice to say we can have either good, family-sustaining jobs or a healthy environment. This myth is perpetuated by fossil fuel corporations to justify the disruptions and risks their pipelines bring to our families and communities. We must make real investments in clean infrastructure, so that we can transform communities currently disrupted by pipelines bringing in fossil fuels from out of state or out of the country into clean energy manufacturers. As a Congressman, Randy would oppose further pipeline expansion, including all tar sands pipelines, and support major investments into clean energy job creation. Bryce would also oppose a proposal to replace the Enbridge Line 5 with a new pipeline through Wisconsin. (As an ironworker, Randy had the chance to work on a pipeline and he turned it down – hear why).
Lobby for Additional Air Testing Around Oak Creek Coal Facility. For too many years, We Energies has been responsible for coal dust contaminating the homes of its workers and surrounding community members. The coal dust is often visible on cars, schools and sidewalks. Despite demands from the community for years, only recently has We Energies considered increasing its air quality monitoring. As a Congressman, Randy would be a vocal advocate demanding that We Energies pay for additional air testing and regular independent monitoring to ensure the health of the community. Bryce also opposes Governor Walker’s request that the Trump Administration exempt Foxconn from laws limiting the amount of smog they can produce. Southeastern Wisconsin residents have committed billions in taxpayer funding for that company. They should not have to sacrifice their health as well.
Protect the Land and Water Conservation Fund. The Trump Administration has proposed reducing this fund, which has helped preserve the Ice Age Trail and numerous Wisconsin state and community parks. As a Congressman, Randy would fight to protect these lands, which in addition to being key to a healthy environment, are also essential to the health of Wisconsin’s economy. Our state has a nearly $18 billion outdoor recreation industry. Additionally, conserving these lands is important to protecting Wisconsin’s proud hunting, fishing and recreational traditions. Randy fishes frequently with his 11-year-old son, and he wants his future grandkids to be able to share in those experiences. For these same reasons, Randy would also oppose all efforts to expand drilling on public lands.
Rejoin the Paris Climate Agreement. By participating in this agreement, the U.S. would commit to reducing its carbon footprint as part of the global effort to mitigate climate change. The impact of climate change is already being felt in Wisconsin with increased algae production, drought, flooding, and erosion, all of which can be devastating to the state’s agriculture industry. These changes also hurt homeowners, business owners and taxpayers who have had to pay the damage caused by flooding to basements, roads, bridges, sewer systems and other utilities. The state’s fishing and recreation industries have also been hurt by declining fish populations and decreasing snowfall. Wisconsin’s economy loses approximately $179 million during low-snow years. It’s time to secure our state’s economy and our community’s health and structural safety, and rejoin the Paris Climate Agreement. Hear why Randy thinks now is the time to address climate change (video).
Protect Federal Wetlands. Wisconsin Republicans recently passed a bill that will negatively impact an untold number of isolated and non-federal wetlands, in order to increase profits for wealthy developers. The destruction of wetlands hurts Wisconsin’s proud tradition of hunting, fishing, and recreation, and the jobs associated with it, for the benefit of a very wealthy few. As a Congressman, Randy would support expanding protections for wetlands and small streams under the Clean Water Act. The Obama administration had moved to expand the number and types of wetlands protected by the federal government, but the Trump Administration is currently in court fighting to reverse that progress. Randy would support returning to the Clean Water Act standards set by the Obama administration.
Protect Funding for Great Lakes Restoration Initiative. In 2010, the federal government launched an effort to repair, protect and preserve the Great Lakes and the communities and industries they support. When Donald Trump came into office, his EPA proposed eliminating the funding for this initiative, which has cleaned up toxic waste, stopped the spread of invasive species, and made other improvements benefiting communities on the Lake’s shore. As a Congressman, Randy would lobby to protect this essential investment in our Great Lakes. Randy would also oppose other efforts to disrupt the health of our Great Lakes, such as FoxConn’s current plan to pump nearly 7 million gallons of water a day from the Lake.