Hawaii congresswoman pushes Congress on clean energy

Published: Oct. 31, 2017 at 4:32 PM EDT
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"This moment offers a unique opportunity to approach climate disaster," David Galarza, New York City Coordinator with Casa Pueblo said.

Galarza believes climate change had a hand in the hurricanes that ravaged his native Puerto Rico. He's joining other advocates calling for a complete switch to clean energy. Among them: Congresswoman Tulsi Gabbard (D-HI-2). She said Hawaii's well on its way.

"The island and county of Kauai for example on most days is already running on over 90% clean energy generation during the day," Gabbard said.

Gabbard's promoting her bill, the OFF Act, which she said would put the United States on a pathway to replace fossil fuels with 100% clean energy generation and use by 2035. It builds on progress made in Hawaii and other states she said have committed to address climate change head on.

"For those who say that these kinds of aggressive goals are too difficult don't have a close touch on reality and what we can do with todays technology and where we need to go," Gabbard added.

Here in Congress, Gabbard is ramping up support for her bill. She said the transition to clean energy will stimulate the economy and provide support to workers impacted by the change.

But others say - the risk is too great.

"It's going to hurt every single American family and business," Nick Loris a Research Fellow with the Heritage Foundation said.

Loris said moving off fossil fuels would drive up the cost of energy and cripple the coal, natural gas and oil industries.

As far as the connection between climate change and the recent devastating storms and wildfires, Loris said there isn't one.

"There isn't any causation between increased manmade CO2 emissions and these natural disasters- I think they're called natural for a reason," he added.

While the debate continues, Gabbard continues to fight for bipartisan support in Congress.

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