This is a Moms Clean Air Force exclusive interview with Congressman Brad Schneider of Illinois:
What is unique about protecting your district’s resources?
Our district is fortunate to be located on the shore of Lake Michigan. The Great Lakes are one of our country’s greatest natural wonders, containing one fifth of the planet’s fresh water, providing water for 30 million people. Protecting the Great Lakes for future generations is critical for both the economy and quality of life of Tenth District residents and our region. That’s a key reason why I am extremely troubled by President Trump’s budget proposal to entirely eliminate the $300 million annual investment in the Great Lakes Restoration Initiative. In the past, this program has received strong support from both sides of the aisle for its work to clean up our Great Lakes, control invasive species, restore habitats and reduce run-off. I’m committed to working with colleagues to preserve this important program for our environment.
As a parent are you worried about any specific effects of climate change on your children and the children of your district?
Of course I am worried about climate change, not just for my children but for all children. I feel a great responsibility to make sure we pass to the next generation a sustainably healthy environment. But I fear that if our government blindly ignores the very real threat of climate change, the consequences will be dire. From rising sea levels, to more frequent and more powerful storms, to expanding droughts and increasing desertification, the effects of failing to act now are potentially catastrophic for our children’s future.
That’s why last month I introduced the CLIMATE Act (Congressional Leadership to Mitigate Administration Threats to the Earth Act, HR 1812) to block President Trump’s dangerous executive order. We need to lead on climate change, not just to protect our environment and national security, but to also ensure that the green energy jobs of tomorrow are created here at home
Why is a bipartisan effort so important to you when working on issues of air quality?
It used to be that protecting our environment was always a bipartisan issue. (Tweet this) Remember, it was under President Nixon that the EPA was created and that the Clean Water Act became law. Democrat or Republican, we all breathe the same air, drink the same water, and live on the same planet. Similarly, our children all suffer the consequences of a deteriorating environment – whether it be increased incidents of asthma and allergies or worsening severe weather events due to global climate change. This is an area where we should be able to work together. On a more practical level, Republicans control both houses of Congress and the White House, and we need to work together in a bipartisan manner in order to make any progress on these important issues.
Is there anything you’d like to share that is important for Moms Clean Air Force members to know?
The most important thing I can tell you is keep doing what you are doing, it is having a great impact. It is through the grassroots work of groups like Moms Clean Air Force that we will win the battles that are ahead of us. More importantly, through your efforts we will make sure that our children inherit a healthy environment and sustainable planet. Keep up the great work and please stay in touch with my office. We want to hear from you!
Brad Schneider represents Illinois’s 10th District in the United States House of Representatives, where he is serving his second term. As a member of Congress, Brad is focused on building a thriving economy that works for all of us, and ensuring every child has the opportunity for a quality education and a rising standard of living. He knows that our communities are stronger when small businesses invest and grow, our environment is healthy, and people are working together for a better future. Brad and his wife, Julie, have been residents of Deerfield for more than 25 years, where they created a home, built their careers, and, most importantly, raised two sons, Adam and Daniel.