trevor thomas for michigan third congressional district

Democrat Trevor Thomas for Michigan’s 3rd District Democrat Trevor Thomas for Congress Barry - Calhoun - Ionia - Kent - Montcalm

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Trevor's Plan

A Plan for West Michigan by Democrat Trevor Thomas

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II. Investing in a West Michigan for Tomorrow

Protect our Environment and Conserve Natural Resources

1. Protect the Great Lakes: Combat Invasive Species

The Great Lakes are one of West Michigan’s greatest assets, and the people of Michigan’s Third District need a representative who will fight to protect them. With 95 percent of the nation’s fresh surface water, the Great Lakes are an invaluable source of drinking water, jobs, food, recreation and natural habitat for fish and wildlife. Surprisingly, our district is not currently represented on the House Great Lakes Task Force. I will join that Task Force on day one, and work with my colleagues on both sides of the aisle to conserve and protect our Great Lakes and promote reasonable economic development. One prime example: Asian carp threaten the fragile Great Lakes ecosystem, and would damage the sport and commercial fishing industries, and even have negative effects on waterfowl hunting. I will push for full funding of the Great Lakes Restoration Initiative, which includes a "zero tolerance policy" for the introduction of new invasive species into the Great Lakes. The projects that are a part of this Initiative are real job creators. I fully support efforts to accelerate the Army Corps of Engineer’s timeline for releasing a report on stopping Asian carp from entering the Great Lakes at a number of key points.

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2. Regulation of Oil Pipelines to Protect our Natural Resources

The 2010 Enbridge pipeline spill that affected 37 miles of the Kalamazoo River, just to our West, is one of the worst in-land oil disasters in the history of our nation. Thanks to the combined efforts by government agencies and private parties, an estimated more than 1 million gallons of oil have been removed from the Kalamazoo River. However, the clean-up has costs $750 million so far, and most of the affected portions of the river remain closed. We must be committed to smart and reasonable regulation and incentives to prevent these types of disasters and to ensure prompt and efficient clean-up. Rather than limiting the power of the Michigan Department of Environmental Quality and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency as some have supported, I would focus on ensuring that the federal government is a partner with state and local governments, businesses and tourism bureaus to do everything possible to protect the natural resources our hunting, fishing, and tourism industries depend on.

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3. Federal Support for Renewable Energy Sources

The federal government can help states transition to renewable energy sources by continuing to invest in research and development of these sources. I support President Obama’s proposals for renewable energy investments - money spent now can save us money, energy and pollution in the future. These types of investments will also help make the 25 by ’25 initiative - which I endorse - more easily achievable. If Michigan is a leader in renewable energy standards, we will also be a leader in the infusion of capital to back renewable energy projects and will benefit from the huge job-creation potential of the most cutting edge renewable technologies.

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4. Call for Action on Carbon Pollution and Climate Change

I believe that the next Congress must work to address carbon emissions and encourage innovation and investment in the green economy to create 21st century jobs right here in Michigan. My generation and those following will have to bear the consequences of the unprecedented buildup of greenhouse gases in our atmosphere. If we act now - in concert with the international community, and in ways that allow our industries to plan ahead - we can head off potentially devastating affects of carbon emissions on our nation’s climate. This will protect our agricultural production, reduce extreme weather and flooding, and mitigate global health problems. Further, it will help promote stability internationally by preventing the internal strife that accompanies natural disasters, disease and migration associated with climate change. Moving away from carbon emissions also presents a tremendous opportunity to create jobs - which the UAW and others have recognized - in a clean energy economy, and to cut our dependence on foreign oil. I believe that acting now is a conservative and sensible approach to the mounting problem; we can’t be held up by folks who continue to recklessly dispute basic scientific facts.

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5. Fight Against Fracking that Threatens Our Water Supply and Hurts Property Values

I support requiring companies to disclose the chemicals that are used in the fracking process and ensuring that fracking is held to the same standards for protecting our drinking water as are other industries. We know that fracking can remove large quantities of fresh water from the watershed and exposes the environment to potentially hazardous chemicals. While I support the increased use of natural gas, I will work to make sure that it is done in a way that is safe and that protects against potentially devastating effects on water quality, our natural resources, Michigan jobs, public health and property values. Protecting our natural resources will require standing up to special interests, including the natural gas industry, in order to regulate fracking.

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