Hearing on Vanishing Environmental Reviews and the SBA’s Disaster Loan Program
Last Friday, I testified at the U.S. House Committee on Small Business about Wisconsin’s proposed Foxconn development near Lake Michigan and the need for environmental regulation. Thank you Congressman Brad Schneider and Congresswoman Nydia Velazquez for holding this hearing.
Developments like Foxconn usually receive an environmental impact assessment before they are approved – but Wisconsin gave an exemption to these necessary environmental regulations. Foxconn is allowed to fill in wetlands without permit, putting Northern Illinois communities at risk of flooding. Wetlands act as sponges for excess water, but without those buffers, “potentially thousands of downstream homes and businesses could be flooded.” In a highly criticized decision, the EPA also weakened air pollution requirements in Racine County, letting Foxconn escape necessary pollution regulations. Read my full testimony here and coverage in the Chicago Tribune here.
Press Conference on National Impacts of Climate Change in the Great Lakes
On Monday, I joined Senator Dick Durbin and Senator Brian Schatz to discuss the broader impacts of climate change on the Great Lakes. Senator Durbin discussed the challenges farmers in Illinois are facing due to the extreme heat and flooding brought on by climate change. Senator Schatz discussed how the cost of inaction is greater than the cost of action when it comes to climate change and called on us all to act on climate change now. That’s exactly what ELPC is doing, by working to implement climate change solutions. Our Great Lakes Climate Change Report shows that climate change will continue to bring more flooding, more damaging weather and more extreme heat to the Midwest. It is all the more important to have strong environmental regulations and aggressive policy solutions to combat the impacts of climate change.