Environment and Energy
As an environmental champion and a vocal defender of important environmental laws and policies, Earl supports efforts to strengthen the Clean Air Act, the Clean Water Act, the Endangered Species Act, and more. He has also helped pass new laws that promote clean energy, fight climate change, reduce our dependence on fossil fuels and encourage more efficient use of valuable natural resources.
A vocal advocate of the Green New Deal, Earl partnered with Congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez to help write the resolution. It puts forward a series of goals to achieve a comprehensive, rapid-scale decarbonization of our economy, ensuring a just transition for millions of Americans who are disproportionately affected by climate change.
At home in Oregon, Earl has been a leader in protecting some of Oregon’s most treasured icons including Mt. Hood, the Columbia River Gorge, and the Owyhee Canyonlands. He is passionate about helping the federal government work in better partnership with local communities to improve watershed health and protect open spaces. His strong support for green businesses and manufacturing is helping Oregon become one of the country’s leading clean energy states.
Decarbonizing our economy and fighting climate change
Earl knows that climate change is man-made, and an appropriate response from the federal government is long overdue. Fighting climate change, one of the greatest challenges of our generation, is one of his top priorities. He strongly believes we must take bold, comprehensive action immediately to prevent the worst disruption of our climate and our society while mitigating for the climate effects that are already underway. He supports state, local, national, and international action that would lead to the decarbonization of our economy from all sectors that contribute to global climate change. He is committed to ensuring economic and environmental justice and equality as we make this transition. He strongly supports and helped craft the decarbonization and just transition goals in Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez’s Green New Deal, and is working to create policies to achieve these goals.
Holding polluters accountable
Earl supports ending outdated fossil fuel subsidies for the highly profitable oil and gas industries, which enjoy billions of dollars in taxpayer support every year, but do not need it, and which represent the dirty energy of the past. He has also championed efforts to ensure that fossil fuel companies are transporting oil, coal, and gas safely, and that they are mitigating risks associated with transport and extraction. He has proposed a fee on carbon polluters that would drive down emissions and generate revenue that would be returned to American workers and fund programs to transition to a decarbonized economy. He strongly opposes drilling for oil in the Arctic or anywhere off of the United States’ coast, home to treasured ecosystems, and has called upon the Administration to stop leases in the Arctic.
Powering the clean energy revolution
Earl is proud to represent Oregon, a state that is recognized for its cutting-edge approaches to developing and supporting renewable energy industries such as wind, wave, solar, and geothermal, adopting energy conservation and green building techniques, and more. He is committed to increasing the supply of clean and renewable energy to Oregon consumers and utility customers around the country. Earl has vigorously advocated for and championed incentives that have helped the wind, solar, and other renewable energy industries thrive.
Standing up for pollinators
Earl champions legislative efforts to protect and restore our nation's pollinator populations, recognizing their importance to both our food supply and to ecosystems. During the last several years, beekeepers have lost significant portions of their bee colonies, strong evidence that America’s bee population is struggling. Significant evidence indicates that neonicotinoids, a certain class of nicotine-derived pesticides used widely across the world and particularly in agriculture, play a key role in these die-offs. To help address this, Earl has introduced the Saving America’s Pollinators Act to protect pollinators from these threats. This legislation directs the Environmental Protection Agency to suspend use of the most bee-toxic neonicotinoids, and to review them and make a new determination about their proper application and safe use.
Promoting conservation in agriculture
He believes that we must support practices that lead to the long-term sustainability of farm land and protect the environment. Whether it’s strengthening the Farm Bill’s conservation programs, or curbing emissions and other pollution from industrialized agriculture, Earl has championed policies and funding to ensure that farmers have the tools to protect soil health, eliminate runoff, and promote biodiversity. His Food and Farm Act offered many policies to reform conservation programs to improve outcomes for both farmers and the environment.
Protecting public lands and expanding wilderness
Earl is a champion for protecting public lands, including Mount Hood and the Columbia River Gorge, two of Oregon’s crown jewels. He has also been outspoken in support of protecting the unique Owyhee Canyonlands region in southeast Oregon. In March 2009, Congress passed, and President Obama signed, legislation based on Earl’s proposal to designate 127,000 acres of new wilderness and almost 80 miles of new wild and scenic rivers on and around Mt. Hood. Recognizing that Mt. Hood is a prime recreation destination for many Oregonians, Earl is exploring designation of additional wilderness and national recreation areas on the mountain. He strongly believes in preserving key areas important for clean water, cultural significance, carbon sequestration, and fish and wildlife, as well as recreation interests.
Supporting outdoor recreation
Hand in hand with protecting public lands, Earl supports federal policies that ensure that all Americans have access to beautiful places for hiking, biking, fishing, hunting and more. He is supportive of efforts to create and maintain trails and parks, and works to raise awareness about the importance of equitable access to and enjoyment of public lands as a key part of community livability. Earl fought hard for the permanent reauthorization of the Land and Water Conservation Fund, and, as co-Chair of the Congressional Trails Caucus, he works to ensure the federal government has proper funding for trail maintenance and access.
Advocating for salmon and watershed restoration
Salmon are a valuable economic, cultural, and environmental resource for the Pacific Northwest. Earl is a leader in efforts to restore self-sustaining, healthy populations of salmon to the Columbia and Snake rivers. Key to this is ensuring that water quality is prioritized throughout the Basin, through toxics reduction and other measures. Earl introduced the Columbia River Basin Restoration Act, which was signed into law in 2016, that is providing federal funding for toxics reduction in the Columbia River, supporting a collaborative strategy developed by regional stakeholders to reduce levels of harmful pollutants in the river.
Cleaning up Superfund sites
Earl believes that polluters should pay when it comes to cleaning up America’s toxic legacies. The Portland Harbor on the Willamette River in Portland was designated a Superfund site in 2000. He is committed to working with EPA, local stakeholders, and the community to ensure that the Portland Harbor is finally cleaned up, for the benefit of the river ecosystem and the community.
Prioritizing water and oceans
Earl is a leading voice in Congress to ensure the supply of safe, clean water to our communities and in our oceans and rivers, to promote sustainable fisheries, and to help our ocean ecosystems adapt to climate change. He is a vocal defender of the Clean Water Act, a bedrock environmental law that’s prevented billions of pounds of toxic pollutants from contaminating the nation’s waters. He also champions laws, regulations, and initiatives that protect wetlands and other natural water resources and infrastructure, so vital to water quality. A member of the Oceans Caucus, he’s strongly supported research and monitoring of ocean acidification and related impacts, to help ocean ecosystems and communities cope with their devastating impacts.
Reforming flood insurance
Earl believes the federal government must be a better partner to local communities in reducing and, where possible, preventing the dangers of flooding to people, property, and ecosystems. He works with state, city, and county governments, citizens groups, and businesses to better coordinate federal assistance and prioritize pre-disaster mitigation efforts. He has advocated for substantial reforms to the National Flood Insurance Program, the federal government’s insurance program for development in and around floodplains, to ensure that building – and rebuilding – in floodplains is discouraged, communities are required to plan for floods, and natural infrastructure, like forests, wetlands, and oyster reefs, are enhanced.
As co-Chair of the Congressional Animal Protection Caucus, Earl has strongly defended native wildlife species in the United States and around the world. He is a champion for the Endangered Species Act, robust funding for habitat restoration, and protecting water and natural habitats for species across the country. He’s spoken in vocal opposition to political interference with science that undermines species recovery, introduced legislation to prevent cruel wildlife trapping, prevented rollbacks of critical environmental laws that protect animals and their habitat, and rallied his colleagues to defend native wildlife, such as gray wolves, from legislative and administrative attacks.
For more information concerned Earl's work and views related to energy and the environment, please contact the office.
Rep. Blumenauer is also a member of The House of Representatives Sustainable Energy & Environment Coalition (SEEC). Founded 2009, the goal of the SEEC is to be a focused, active, and effective advocate for policies for clean energy innovation and job creation, environmental protection, and policies that will address global climate change.