The First District of Virginia is full of natural resources that play important roles in the culture, economy, history, and recreation of our region. In my role on the House Natural Resources Committee, I am proud to have spent my career in Congress fighting to protect our environment so that it can be enjoyed by future generations.
As Co-Chair of the Chesapeake Bay Caucus, I have been leading the effort in Congress to maintain the Chesapeake Bay Program, specifically advocating for funding when the President’s Budget suggested major cuts. My priority is to increase oversight over how federal dollars are spent on Bay Cleanup. In 2015 my Chesapeake Bay Accountability and Recovery Act was signed into law and has introduced an Independent Evaluator and budgetary reforms to cleanup efforts. My work on conservation led me to be named Legislator of the Year by the Chesapeake Bay Foundation, Conservationist of the Year by Ducks Unlimited, and awarded the Lifetime Achievement Award from the Center for Coastal Conservation.
Having grown up in the Chesapeake Bay watershed region and spending countless hours outdoors hunting, fishing, and enjoying the natural beauty of my surroundings, I support protecting our wildlife and coastal communities, which are vital to Virginia’s economy. In the 115th Congress, I introduced the National Centers of Excellence in Coastal Flood Research and Education Act, which would further world-class research to better prepare Virginia cities for coastal flooding. I also authored the Keep America’s Refuges Operational Act, now signed into law, that renews a critical volunteer program that makes it possible for over 50 million visitors to experience our nation’s wildlife.
In 2018, after decades of bipartisan efforts, my legislation giving recognition to six Virginia Indian tribes passed Congress and was signed into law by President Trump. These tribes, many of whom are first-contact tribes, will finally receive the recognition they deserve. This status enables them to pursue repatriation of historical and cultural artifacts, comment on federal agency actions that could affect their future and gain access to a number of federal programs.
As a lifelong conservationist, I am committed to the preservation of our public lands, wetlands and vast natural resources. I supported a lands package, signed into law by President Trump, which designated 1.3 million acres as wilderness, the nation’s most stringent protection and allowed agencies to set aside land for wildlife habitat.
This legislation also permanently reauthorized the Land and Water Conservation Fund, which channels royalty revenue the federal government receives from offshore oil and gas projects into conservation projects, from expanding national parks, to protecting habitat on private lands, to maintaining Civil War battlefields.
In the Summer of 2020, I was proud to support the passage of the Great American Outdoors Act, which provides vital federal resources for land conservation and maintenance for our outdoor recreational areas, national parks, and wildlife refuges throughout our region and the Commonwealth.
I recently reintroduced the North American Wetlands Conservation Act (NAWCA), which authorizes $60 million a year for wetlands conservation from 2020 to 2024. It would also help reduce the disappearance of wetlands by leveraging federal investment to raise contributions from private organizations like landowners, businesses, and state and local governments that support conservation grants.
In my roles on the House Natural Resources Committee, as Co-Chair of the Chesapeake Bay Caucus, as Co-Chair of the Wildlife Refuge Caucus, and as a Member of the Migratory Bird Conservation Commission, I will continue to work to ensure our lands can be enjoyed by tourists, sportsmen and women, and conservationists for years to come.
We must work together to protect our environment and as a member of the Renewable Energy Caucus, I know investing in clean, reliable energy – like nuclear, hydropower, natural gas, wind, solar, and carbon capture – is a great place to start.
The United States is already leading the world in reducing greenhouse gas emissions through innovation and technological development and we should focus on removing barriers to the deployment of new technologies and innovation. We should be focused on continuing to reduce emissions, developing and exporting clean energy technologies, and making our communities more resilient. We can do this while ensuring affordable and reliable energy prices and prioritizing the consumer and American security and prosperity.
The First District of Virginia is full of natural resources that play important roles in the culture, economy, history, and recreation of our region. In my role on the House Natural Resources Committee, I am proud to have spent my career in Congress fighting to protect our environment […]Read More