This is an exclusive Moms Clean air Force interview with State Representative Leanne Krueger-Braneky of Pennsylvania:
What is unique about protecting Pennsylvania’s resources?
Right now Pennsylvania’s resources feel uniquely under attack by almost every front. We’re facing attacks on common sense regulations protecting our air and water and the budget of the Department of Environmental Protection has been slashed so deeply, we’re at risk of losing control of our drinking water standards to the federal government. As a Mom, I believe protecting our children is the highest priority. As a legislator, I feel it is our constitutional responsibility.
As a parent are you worried about the effects of climate change on your children and the children of Pennsylvania?
Absolutely. I think no one can deny that our climate is changing and it has a direct impact on public health. I have a five-year-old son who will be impacted tomorrow by our policy decisions today.
Why is a bipartisan effort so important and how can these efforts be achieved in our politically polarizing culture?
A bipartisan effort is important particularly in Pennsylvania, where there are only 82 Democrats out of 203 in the State House. Republicans have a huge majority and Democrats are constantly on the defensive. Yet I truly believe that issues of environmental protection and public health should be nonpartisan. The oil and gas industry pumps millions of dollars into campaign contributions on both sides of the aisle. The challenge is giving people, including elected officials, the courage to stand up to the oil and gas industry.
Is there anything you’d like to share that is important for Moms Clean Air Force members to know?
I think Moms need to mobilize. (Tweet this) I have seen first hand how powerful their voices are when they meet with legislators. Yet I’ve also seen how quickly things can swing the other way. It took only 12 days for the oil and gas lobbyists to start to undue the commonsense legislation to protect communities impacted by drilling, after five years of work and thousands of public comments. Moms’ voices are powerful and they need to be heard more loudly in our state capitol.
State Representative Leanne Krueger-Braneky is the first woman to represent the 161st district in Delaware County. She has received national attention for her work in economic development, program development, and public policy and prior to running for office, served as the first Executive Director of the Sustainable Business Network of Greater Philadelphia for eight years. Rep. Krueger-Braneky also currently serves as a member of the Environmental Resources & Energy Committee, Appropriations, Labor and Industry, and Commerce Committees and helped launch the first ever Climate Caucus. She has become a voice for change on the issues she cares about: economic development, education, and the environment.