The environment is crucial for our economy in many ways. It’s vital to tourism as we have some of the most beautiful state parks, forests, and lakes in the region.
From our farmland to our waterways to the economy,
if we don’t take care of the environment, we put it all at risk.
There are real threats to all of the above. In Vermilion County, the Dynegy coal ash pits are currently leaching into the Vermilion River, tainting ground water supplies. We have big farms that can overuse chemicals like dicamba and pushback on state and federal regulators because they have the resources to do so. Meanwhile, the small family farms are being squashed by those regulators because they’re easier targets.
I stand with our family farms.
When you examine the energy economy, we have many small energy companies that are also being squeezed out of the market, and they live and work where their wells operate. They care about the fields and waterways and work one-on-one with regulators. However, the current regulation and fee model is pricing them out of the marketplace. The less wells you have, the more you pay. Meanwhile, big oil and gas corporations can simply pay fees and fines instead of doing their due diligence.
We have to balance the scales for our local energy companies.
My goal as your representative would be to balance the environment and the economy, helping to level the playing field for our small farms and small energy companies. We can protect both if we stop partisan bickering and work toward a more integrated economy and environment.
We must bring the renewable energy economy to the 15th District.
This will help the environment, produce new jobs, and reduce energy prices in the long term. Currently, individual investors in solar energy are treated differently depending on where they live. They need someone to stand up and fight for them to balance the scales on net-metering and buyback contracts.
We must connect students, farms, energy, and the environment together.
By connecting our local schools with higher education, we can connect students with doing actual research in the fields and in our waterways to provide onsite, contemporaneous data and information that can connect farm to community. There’s not enough funding to do this research in the current regulatory model, and the opportunities for learning skills and training are endless for our students in the industries where they live.
My approaches provide an array of innovative solutions and opportunities
bringing the 15th District into the modern era becoming a model for the nation.
We can do much better, and we should have been the driving force as we have in the past. With bold initiatives, a strong voice, and a representative that listens, cares, and fights for every sector of our economy and every citizen in the district, we can turn the 15th District around.