Congressman Sarbanes shares the same passion for the environment as the people of Maryland’s Third Congressional District, who have a strong history of environmental advocacy for, and stewardship of, the Chesapeake Bay. The Congressman is dedicated to addressing the many environmental challenges facing our nation, such as climate change, protecting clean air and water and finding alternatives to the finite supply of fossil fuels, among many other issues.
Specifically, Congressman Sarbanes’ environmental efforts have focused on empowering citizens as everyday environmental stewards. He is the author of the No Child Left Inside Act, which aims to provide meaningful outdoor education experiences to students across the country. In December, Congress passed a new K-12 education bill – the Every Student Succeeds Act – that included a provision from the No Child Left Inside Act that will allow educators to access federal grants for environmental education programs.
Protecting the Bay
As a leader on the Congressional Chesapeake Bay Task Force, Congressman Sarbanes is raising awareness among his colleagues in Congress about the perils facing the Bay. With a particular focus on improving the health of Bay tributaries, he has helped inform Members who represent parts of the Chesapeake Bay watershed about pollution originating from streams or rivers in their District that flows into the Bay. Congressman Sarbanes is also fighting to provide adequate resources for federal agencies that have a hand in Bay restoration efforts including the EPA, the National Park Service, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Agency and others. He strongly supports the EPA’s Chesapeake Bay “pollution diet,” which sets limits on runoff from states in the Bay watershed. To learn more about how you can help protect the Chesapeake Bay, visit: www.chesapeakebay.net.
Big Money in Polluting Our Environment
Recent analysis by Oil Change International indicates that the oil and gas industry receives $59 in federal subsidies for every $1 they spend on campaign contributions and lobbying. The “Big Five” oil companies – which are some the most profitable corporations in the world – receive $2.4 billion in annual tax breaks from the federal government.
Despite the fact that three out of every five Americans support ending tax breaks for the oil and gas industry and that 80 percent of Americans think the U.S. should take action to address climate change, Congress has voted time and time again to weaken or altogether scrap critical environmental protections. Swamped by the influence of the oil and gas industry, the voice of the American people cannot be heard.
Even though 97 percent of scientists agree that human activity is causing dangerous climate change and 80 percent of Americans want Congress to act, special-interest polluters have created a bubble of climate denial in Washington, D.C.
Big money politics is polluting our democracy and our environment.
Congressman Sarbanes is working to combat the influence of wealthy and well-connected special interests, like the oil and gas industry, by elevating the voice of the American people in Congress. The Government By the People Act (H.R. 20), which the Congressman authored and introduced, would break Congress’ dependence on big money by creating an alternative to today’s campaign finance system, empowering everyday citizens with a tax credit for campaign contributions and amplifying their voices with a matching fund.