Environmental Protections

Environmental Policy Statement

Today, I am happy to share my environmental policy statement with you, our seventh bold policy statement to be released to date.

Unseasonably warm weather paired with melting snow and heavy rain have created widespread flooding throughout the 6th district These floods have wreaked havoc on roads, bridges, and peoples' homes and businesses. Michigan saw record-setting warm temperatures in February, as high as 63 degrees in some parts of the state. Like most Michiganders, I don't generally complain about a warm day in February, but these extreme weather patterns are not normal and are, in fact, a result of climate change. If we continue to abuse the environment, we will see more episodes of extreme heat, intense storms, and severe droughts all over the globe. Our communities, our infrastructure, and our planet cannot tolerate this. It’s time to put the earth first. 

You can view our environmental policy statement here.


Tell Zinke: Protect our coastal waters!

“Energy dominance” rather than “energy weakness” is the rationale Interior Secretary Zinke used to explain the plan he and Trump rolled out yesterday to destroy all environmental protections that prevent oil and gas exploration in ecologically sensitive coastal waters. This shallow logic is a poor attempt to cover up yet another gift to the corporate donors who funnel their profits into tax havens and the pockets of their shareholders. 

Maybe Trump and Zinke are unaware of the disastrous record of fossil fuel corporations. We have suffered an average of one offshore oil spill every year since the BP oil rig exploded in the Gulf of Mexico, killing 11 people, and creating the largest oil spill in US history. That does not even account for the global record of these multinational corporations, which is much worse.

There is no explanation for this plan other than open greed. Even the Department of Defense, Chris Christie, Rick Scott, and the Republican governors of coastal states oppose this decision. We do not need more oil or gas, we need more energy from renewable sources.

As your representative, I will stand firm against destructive policies like this one that places the health of the American people and the environmental and economic stability of our nation at risk. Unlike those pushing this plan, I #CantBeBought by corporatists who push their agenda over the good of the people. 

Please join me in making sure Secretary Zinke knows we do not condone this destructive greed. You can reach the Department of the Interior at feedback@ios.doi.gov or (202) 208-3100.

Rally to fix NAFTA in St. Joseph


We joined protesters in front of Fred Upton's office in St. Joseph to protest the corporate control and the lack of transparency in our government. It is time that we fix NAFTA and all other trade deals so that they protect American workers and our environment. For too long our elected officials have crafted trade deals in secret with the best interests of corporations rather than workers or the planet in mind. Mr. Upton is one of the leading advocates for the dismantling of the protections on which we depend. Help us send this message. Workers and the planet must come before the profits of international corporations. – DTB

May 9, 2017 - Plainwell-Otsego Concerned Citizens Group Meeting

Have you heard about the Plainwell-Otsego Concerned Citizens Group?  If not, you should check out what they are doing.  Last night, I had the privilege to talk with the group about how to become more effective grassroots organizers and how to maximize the electoral impact of a small but impassioned group of citizens. It is when I listen to groups like this that I get optimistic about what we are trying to accomplish. 

Fifteen people from the community showed up and shared their stories with me. They have been marching, writing letters, making phone calls, and talking to their neighbors in defense of health care, environmental protections, women’s health, immigrant rights, education, gerrymandering, and many other causes. All of the people at the meeting expressed concern that they were not having the impacts they hoped for, and they told me they were becoming exhausted by the fight. Keep up the good work, your efforts count and are noticed. 

I will do everything I can to get behind this type of grassroots, citizen organizing and action.  This is hard work, but this is how we make elected officials take notice. Please join me, join the campaign, join a grassroots action group, and never give up.  We need to take our government back!