Protecting Our Environment
It is past time for our city to take a systemic approach to ensure environmental efficiency and sustainability. If we commit, DC will be a leader in renewable energy, environmental safety, and sustainable infrastructure. Protecting our climate and keeping our residents safe does not have to be a sacrifice; it will open up opportunities for employment and help keep our city safer.
I have been a leader in addressing the climate crisis in DC. I introduced and funded the Renewable Energy Future Amendment Act which required the Department of General Services to evaluate all District government properties to determine whether they can generate renewable energy through solar panels, small-scale wind turbines, or other means. In addition, I introduced the Public Facilities Environmental Safety Amendment Act to address the presence of lead and other health and environmental hazards in playgrounds, schools, and government buildings undergoing modernization or demolition.
With leadership prepared to set ambitious goals, we can do even more together. I have a bold agenda to protect our environment, that’s why we have been endorsed by the Sierra Club. Here’s my plan to protect our environment while supporting our communities:
- Implement my proposed Climate Jobs Guarantee program. As Mayor I will enact a Jobs Guarantee for DC program that will put residents to work combatting climate change and building resiliency and sustainability in our infrastructure. This program will simultaneously guarantee residents job opportunities and training while preparing our communities for climate impacts and transitioning our economy to 100% renewable energy. Read more here.
- Accelerate our progress towards decarbonization goals to require electricity from 100% renewable sources by 2026, six years ahead of the current schedule. We will make it easier for DC residents to install solar and establish and fund a program to provide voluntary upgrades to low and moderate income households for electric energy retrofits. In addition, I will mandate that the Public Service Commission require that the gas utility end all sales of methane gas by 2050. Finally, we will end all government subsidies for methane and all other fossil fuels at the DC Green Bank, DC Sustainable Energy Utility, and all other DC-supported programs.
- Advance a Green New Deal for Housing. I am a proud supporter of Councilmember Janeese Lewis George’s Green New Deal for Housing Amendment Act. I will retrofit DC Public housing units to promote the construction of renewable energy generation systems and improve residents’ health and comfort through weatherization and other upgrades such as LED lights, low-flow fixtures, low-emissivity windows, reflective roofing, and insulated walls.
- Ensure new construction is net-zero emissions. I will require landlords and developers to adhere to high environmental standards, including net-zero emissions, non-combustible clean energy, and installing electrified appliances that meet EPA-certified Energy Star Standards. In addition, we will reduce public housing buildings’ greenhouse gas footprint to zero by replacing all indoor gas or oil burning systems with sustainable alternatives.
- Increase the reliability and efficiency of public transit. We need to strengthen our pedestrian safety and the accessibility of public transit so we can decrease the need for cars which hurt our environment. This starts with expanding bike and bus only lanes. We also need to make sure our public transportation is not contributing to climate change by increasing energy efficiency, starting with electrifying our bus fleet.
- Protect our waterways. DC’s two rivers are a core part of our identity. The Anacostia River and the Potomac River should not be a dumping ground for single-use plastics and should be cleaned up by corporate polluters. By increasing the green space where water can go, we will work to prevent our rivers from being trashed.
- Remove lead pipes. There is no safe level of lead exposure. DC needs better management of our lead service line replacement program to ensure that dollars spent are resulting in a coordinated effort to ensure that unsafe drinking water pipelines are replaced. I will ensure comprehensive, coordinated and efficient lead service line replacement in the District.