Congressman Huffman champions climate legislation

Congressman Huffman champions climate legislation

Pace Buchan

In September of 2019, dozens of members of congress sent a petition to Donald Trump. The petition demanded a new trade agreement to replace the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA), because they claim that NAFTA does not do enough to protect the environment. 

Jared Huffman, Marin’s congressional representative, was one of these petitioners. 

Huffman has a history of campaigning for action on climate change, including House Bill 4341, or the Critically Endangered Animals Conservation Act. The act has been a bipartisan effort between Republican Representative Vern Buchanan and Huffman. The bill would establish a fund, “focused on international endangered species conservation projects,” Huffman said.

“It’s one of those areas where Democrats and Republicans can still work together,” said Huffman. 

The “Public Safety Power Shutoffs” (PSPS’s) last fall left many Marin residents upset with Pacific Gas and Electric (PG&E). The company enacted the PSPS policy to protect residents from wildfires, but questions arose about the planning and effectiveness of the shutoffs. 

“We were able to protect a lot of communities that were in harm’s way,” Huffman said, but added that “The particular device that we know sparked the [Kincade Fire] was not maintained and up to modern standards.[…] PG&E should’ve done a better job over the years.” 

Huffman’s stance reflects that of the majority of the people he represents. Marin County has long been a hub for climate advocacy.
Huffman is on every House committee considering the climate and is the chair of the Water, Oceans, and Wildlife Subcommittee.
The Magnuson-Stevens Act is his main legislation of focus, a bill promoting fish sustainability by preventing overfishing and regulating coastal fisheries. According to Fisheries Research, the amount of tuna being harvested from the oceans has risen by 1,000 percent over the last 60 years. Many environmental scientists find this rate unsustainable.
Huffman has been going from community to community asking for feedback and advice from opinionated citizens on his Magnuson-Stevens Act National Listening Tour. Huffman hasn’t introduced anything to Congress yet but said that he will, “introduce a bill once we’re informed.”
Huffman has been discussing new bill ideas as Congress reconvenes, and says he could potentially author a bill that would set “high standards for fire resiliency.”
One of Huffman’s passions is to “focus less on politics and more on the issues.”

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