Energy & the Environment
For more than two decades, Congressman Pascrell has fought for the preservation of our air, land, and water in order to ensure a safe and healthy environment for future generations to come. He believes that we must protect our finite natural resources from polluting industries and use every tool available to combat climate change. Bill frequently reminds his skeptical colleagues across the aisle that the impacts of climate change are undeniable because they are already here. He has taken an active role in advancing legislation such as the Green New Deal.
The Green New Deal encompasses two major aspects of Bill’s mission in Washington: environmental conservation and job creation. Bill is committed to achieving net-zero greenhouse gas emissions while simultaneously establishing high-wage jobs, ensuring both economic and environmental security for all Americans. Bill believes this goal is attainable only if we mobilize every facet of American skill and ingenuity to combat this existential threat of our time.
Through the Green New Deal and other legislation, Bill is fighting for the removal of pollution and greenhouse gas emissions from the transportation and agricultural sectors, cleaning up existing hazardous waste and abandoned sites, and moving to upgrade all existing buildings to achieve maximum energy and water efficiency. Bill believes that in doing so, we can promote equality and combat environmental racism and injustice that occurs as a result of poorly-crafted, outdated policy.
As New Jersey’s only member of the powerful House Ways and Means Committee, Bill is uniquely situated to combat climate change and global warming using oft-underused methods. In March 2019, Bill sent a letter to Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross demanding an investigation into imports of carbon emissions and the threat they pose to U.S. national security under Setion 232 of the Trade Expansion Act of 1962. As a member of the Ways and Means Subcommittee on Trade, Bill remains committed to combating climate change through unconventional trade-related means whenever possible.
Bill proudly fought for key energy provisions in the "American Recovery and Reinvestment Act," stimulus legislation signed into law by President Barack Obama. To put people back to work and reduce our dependence on polluting fossil fuels, this landmark legislation increases renewable energy production and renovates public buildings to make them more energy efficient. It also creates funding to improve the energy efficiency of more than 1 million modest-income homes through weatherization, saving low and middle class families money and lowering our nation’s emissions of greenhouse gases.
In addition, the economic stimulus legislation provides $19 billion for clean water, flood control, and environmental restoration investments, robust support to create hundreds of thousands of new jobs. Bill was an active member of the House Transportation Subcommittee on Water Resources and Environment for a deace, and has long advocated for these investments in clean water infrastructure.
But these measures alone are not enough. Much of the stimulus law’s water infrastructure funding is in loans, and communities simply can't afford to pay back loans in these tough economic times. Because of this, Bill has worked closely with colleagues on both sides of the aisle to craft legislation that authorizes grant funding for municipalities to upgrade clean water infrastructure and to protect the public health from dangerous pollution. Congressman Pascrell has long been dedicated to these imperatives. In the 111th Congress, Bill introduced H.R. 895, the "Water Quality Investment Act" to ensure that our cities and towns have the funds they need to repair aging sewer systems that overflow during wet weather events. Through Bill’s hard work, this critical legislation was passed in the House of Representatives.
Bill also continues to fight every day for tough clean water standards and the federal dollars to help states meet their commitments. He works hand in hand with the Army Corps of Engineers and the Federal Emergency Management Agency, steering support to important flood control and mitigation projects such as the Peckman River, while ensuring the protection of our natural habitats.
Bill has made it a priority to ensure the cleanup of polluted and contaminated sites that are the legacy of industrialization throughout the Ninth Congressional District. Bill has worked to secure federal support for the cleanup of Berry’s Creek and the contaminated lower 17 miles of the Passaic River. He continues to hold polluters accountable for the cleanup and mitigation of environmental contamination throughout our state.
A lifelong resident of Paterson, Bill has dedicated himself to bringing much deserved recognition and resources to the Great Falls Historic District in Paterson, where Alexander Hamilton famously implemented his vision of an economically-secure America. In an enduringly fruitful partnership with community leaders, Bill has made important strides towards one day realizing the vision of the Great Falls as both a tourist destination and a refuge for local residents, most recently passing legislation to create a National Historical Park at the site. More information about the Great Falls can be found here.
Bill is one of Congress’ most prominent voices in the fight against climate change. He holds that our refusal to do everything in our power to reverse the impacts of climate change would be a crime against our children and the generations that will follow them.
Fifteen miles west of New York City, the Great Falls was the second largest waterfall in colonial America. No other natural wonder in America has played such an important role in our nation's historic quest for freedom and prosperity. At the Great Falls, Alexander Hamilton conceived and implemented a plan to harness the force of water to power the new industries that would secure our economic independence.
Alexander Hamilton told Congress and the American people that at the Great Falls he would begin implementation of his ambitious strategy to transform a rural agrarian society dependent upon slavery into a modern economy based on freedom. True to Hamilton's vision, Paterson became a great manufacturing city, producing the Colt revolver, the first submarine, the aircraft engine for the first trans-Atlantic flight, more locomotives than any city in the nation, and more silk than any city in the world.
New Jersey's Great Falls is the only National Historic District that includes both a National Natural Resource and a National Historic Landmark. In a special Bicentennial speech in Paterson with the spectacular natural beauty of the Great Falls in the background, the late President Gerald R. Ford said, "We can see the Great Falls as a symbol of the industrial might which helps to make America the most powerful nation in the world."
Scholars have concluded that Pierre L'Enfant's innovative water power system in Paterson, and many factories built later, constitute the finest remaining collection of engineering and architectural structures representing each stage of America's progress from a weak agrarian society to a leader in the global economy.
The story of Hamilton and American industry is not just a story of the State of New Jersey; it is the story of our nation. As such, Congress and President have seen the need to preserve and protect the Great Falls National Historic District and properly present it to the by brining a National Park Service unit to Paterson.