Prioritize Clean Air and Water for Future Generations
Our children are under direct attack by the current administration, which is placing short-term corporate profits over established science and has threatened to withdraw the United States from the the progressive Paris Climate Accord. As chairman of the House Science Committee, Lamar Smith actively perpetuates a lie on the American people by denying the scientific reality of climate change. Given this attitude of our government, it’s legitimate for parents to ask: Will there be clean air for our children to breathe?
We must reduce our reliance on fossil fuels while increasing economic incentives for renewable energy, such as wind and solar power. District 21 is the top district in Texas in terms of solar employment (1,346 jobs), so creating economic incentives for the expansion of the infrastructure for renewables would benefit both our economy and our environment.
There is no greater economic resource than water. As our population grows and demands increase, Texas has faced unprecedented water shortages and challenges. At one point in 2014, twelve municipalities faced the incredible challenge of having less than a 45-day supply of water. We need bolder short-term and long-term planning to ensure the security of water resources for both Texas and our country, including investment in new desalination technologies. An ongoing commitment to clean rivers, streams, lakes, and bays for the promise of a livable future for animals and humans alike is a goal that benefits everyone’s quality of life.
Internalize the Externality. The primary problem with our perception of pollution is that it is viewed as an “externality” of production, meaning that the costs of pollution are passed onto society as a whole instead of being paid for by the polluter. This leads to corporate decision-making that neglects to account for pollution costs in their production analyses. Instead, all of society bears the cost, while the corporate polluter derives extra profit by failing to implement cleaner (and more expensive) production techniques. We must pass laws that require corporations to monetize their pollution costs and pay America back for the harm that they’re causing the environment. By ensuring that polluting companies bear the cost of their environmental destruction, this policy disincentivizes pollution at the economic level, which is the only level at which corporations listen.