Policy ImpactsNational

Creating a Greener Future: Young Lawmakers’ Bipartisan Solutions to Climate Change

April 21, 2023

Earth Day is a time to look to the future — reflecting on our planet and the steps we can take to protect it. As the impacts of climate change continue to heighten, it’s more important than ever to come up with innovative and effective solutions to address these problems.

It’s no secret that young people are fired up about climate change with recent data suggesting that 70% of Gen Zers and Millennials believe climate should be a top priority to ensure a sustainable planet for the future. Here in the Future Caucus network, we are seeing this personal belief expressed in legislative action. Young lawmakers are forging successful bipartisan efforts to advance environmental policy — showing that this issue is a priority for legislators across the aisle.

Below are just a few of the creative, bipartisan energy and environment-focused efforts that we have seen from the millennial and Gen Z lawmakers in the MAP State Future Caucus Network (SFCN):

  • CO HB22–1381: Sponsored by MAP SFCN Member Rep. Brianna Titone (D), this bill received support from both sides of the aisle — creating an energy grant program within the Colorado Energy Office. Through the grant, it would help subsidize geothermal energy heating sources in the state.
  • CT HB5223: Co-sponsored by Connecticut Future Caucus Co-chair Rep. Devin Carney (R), this bipartisan bill would incentivize offshore wind developers to not create negative impacts on fisheries and the environment.
  • FL CS/H1475: Co-sponsored by MAP SFCN Member Rep. Alex Andrade (R), this bipartisan bill was enacted last year. The legislation requires the State Department of Environmental Protection to adopt rules for cleanup target levels for “forever chemical” substances.
  • GA HB 1355: Co-sponsored by Georgia Future Caucus member, Rep. Matthew Gambill. This bipartisan bill updates state guidelines regarding safe lead exposure levels, revises provisions for abatement of lead poisoning hazards, and expands written advertisement requirements for lead hazards.
  • IL HB3928: Creates the Illinois Thirty-By-Thirty Conservation Task Force to review and make recommendations to the state’s General Assembly regarding conservation of Illinois land and implementation of strategies to conserve and protect 30% of land in Illinois by 2030.
  • MI HB6019: This Future Caucus bill creates a public service commission with the goal of investigating the feasibility of nuclear power generation within Michigan’s borders, including economic and environmental impact.
  • VT S24: Sponsored by Vermont Future Caucus co-chair Sen. Becca White (D), this bipartisan bill was recently introduced in Vermont. The bill would require the State Commissioner of Environmental Conservation to adopt low carbon fuel standards for gasoline and diesel substitutes.

Furthermore, we have also seen bipartisan action taken in Congress through MAP’s Congressional Future Caucus. For example:

  • H.R.5345: Sponsored by Congressional Future Caucus co-chair, Rep. Blake Moore (R), this bill received wide-bipartisan support in both the House of Representatives and the Senate. The legislation establishes a scientific monitoring and assessment program to help save the Great Salt Lake and other saline lakes in the West.
  • H.R.1363: Sponsored by Congressional Future Caucus Member, Rep. Joe Neguse (D), this bipartisan legislative package works to make critical investments in regenerative agriculture research.

The efforts of these young lawmakers demonstrate that bipartisanship is possible on issues as critical and hotly debated as climate change. It’s important to build coalitions to solve our most pressing challenges, and the Future Caucus network takes this approach seriously.

We believe that our network of young people can serve as a valuable feedback loop and idea generator for the next generation of policy. If you’re a policymaker, community leader, or advocate looking for innovative solutions in energy and environmental policy, we’re excited to share that Millennial Action Project has teamed up with Microgrids Knowledge to provide a video on the sustainable power of microgrids. Take a look!

It is only by working together that we can create meaningful change and create a future that we all want to live in.

Rep. Sara Jacobs


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