This is a Moms Clean Air Force exclusive interview with Rep. Allyson Y. Schwartz (PA-13):
MCAF: What is unique about protecting Pennsylvania?
Rep. Schwartz: Pennsylvania is a large state that is blessed with a rich and diverse abundance of natural treasures. Our spectacular natural forests, rivers and mountain areas, including the Poconos and Allegheny National Forest, and our 120 state parks and 18 national parks showcase America’s cultural heritage and natural beauty. These natural wonders attract visitors from around the world and serve as important economic engines for Pennsylvania’s communities. The Commonwealth’s National Parks welcomed more than 8.7 million people last year and generated $325 million in economic benefits from tourism in 2011. We must protect our environment for future generations by preserving Pennsylvania’s pristine lands and other natural resources.
As a parent are you worried about the effects of climate change on your children and the children of Pennsylvania?
There is no question that climate change is real and that it is happening now. As a mother, a grandmother, and a member of Congress, I am deeply concerned by the harmful consequences climate change will have on our natural environment and the health, safety and economic well-being of the next generation. That is why I was proud to support comprehensive legislation to address climate change and supported investments in clean energy, both of which are vital to ensure Pennsylvania’s future economic growth and the health of our children.
Why is a bi-partisan effort so important and how can these efforts be achieved in our politically polarizing culture?
I have always worked across the aisle to find common ground on the most important issues facing our country. Everyone, regardless of their political views, depends on clean air and water, and access to safe, healthy food. The health and safety of our citizens is paramount. As stewards of Pennsylvania’s resources, we have an obligation to work across partisan lines to put in place policies that protect our citizens, defend our environment and encourage conservation, while creating jobs and expanding economic opportunity.
Is there anything you would like to share that is important for Moms Clean Air Force members to know?
I would like to thank Moms Clean Air Force for all the great work you do to protect our environment and ensure our children are guaranteed their rights to clean air. I am proud of my work in Congress to protect our nation’s clean air and water laws, and make our communities more livable. I have consistently opposed measures that would restrict the Environmental Protection Agency’s authority to protect our nation’s air and have supported efforts to improve the fuel efficiency of our cars and trucks. As a member of the Ways and Means Committee, I helped write comprehensive energy legislation that would have repealed billions in subsidies for the oil industry and redirected those revenues into the development of renewable energy and energy conservation technologies. I will continue standing with Moms Clean Air Force in these critical efforts on behalf of our children and all citizens.
Thank you, Rep. Schwartz!
About Rep. Schwartz: U.S. Representative Allyson Y. Schwartz is currently serving her fifth term representing Pennsylvania’s 13th Congressional District. The 13th District includes both the close-knit neighborhoods of Northeast Philadelphia and the first ring suburbs of Montgomery County. Schwartz currently serves on two committees in Congress: the Budget Committee and the Ways and Means Committee, which has jurisdiction over federal tax policy, Medicare and Social Security. She is the only woman in Pennsylvania’s congressional delegation. Residing in suburban Montgomery County, Congresswoman Schwartz and her husband Dr. David Schwartz have been married for over 40 years. They are the parents of two grown sons and they recently became grandparents.