Emphasizing National Security, Congresswoman Elaine Luria Highlights Importance of Fighting Climate Change

September 18, 2019
Press Release

WASHINGTON – Congresswoman Elaine Luria (VA-02), a Co-Chair of the New Democrat Coalition Climate Change Task Force, today joined her fellow co-chairs, environmental advocates, and labor advocates in formally announcing policy principles and coalition-endorsed legislation to combat climate change, including her Nuclear Energy Leadership Act.

In a news conference with colleagues and advocates on Capitol Hill, Congresswoman Luria delivered remarks that focused on why combating climate change is important from a national security perspective.

“I saw the world during my 20 years in the Navy,” Congresswoman Luria said. “No nation, state, or person is immune to the growing impacts of climate change. Climate change presents a clear threat to the national security of the United States and its allies.”

Congresswoman Luria’s full remarks are below and can be viewed here.

The United States must be a responsible part of the international community and should act as a global leader by advancing climate change solutions that strengthen our economy and our national security.

I saw the world during my 20 years in the Navy. No nation, state, or person is immune to the growing impacts of climate change. Climate change presents a clear threat to the national security of the United States and its allies.

What we are doing now is irresponsible. The United States must work with other industrialized nations to adopt global policies to reduce carbon emissions.

The United States also has a vested economic, diplomatic, and national security interest in leading this transition and developing technologies and infrastructure that will defend the climate-forward economy of our future.

The nation that develops the technologies of the clean-energy revolution will have the opportunity to shape the global economy.

Those that fail to meet these challenges will become less economically competitive and increasingly reliant on technologies developed by foreign nations. The U.S., through its powerful economy and culture of innovation, is best positioned to be the global leader developing and producing these next-generation technologies.

It is clear that we have an indisputable interest in pursuing global solutions that make not only our country but all nations more safe.

The coalition has endorsed my Nuclear Energy Leadership Act, a bipartisan bill that would encourage further development of advanced nuclear energy programs. Such programs are poised to create high-quality jobs, strengthen national security, reduce foreign energy dependence, and promote emissions-free energy.

As an engineer who operated nuclear reactors myself on aircraft carriers, I know that ensuring a thriving civilian nuclear industry is vital not only for our economy, but also for our national security.

Nuclear energy must be part of any solution to transitioning to a clean-energy future because nuclear power currently provides 55% of our carbon-free energy.

That’s why I reached across the aisle to introduce this critical bill. I’m proud to include it in our efforts today in our New Democrat Coalition and our way forward for cleaner energy.

Congresswoman Elaine Luria represents Virginia’s 2nd Congressional District. She serves on the House Armed Services Committee, where she is the Vice Chair of the Seapower and Projection Forces Subcommittee, and the House Committee on Veterans’ Affairs, where she serves as 

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