Mobile Menu - OpenMobile Menu - Closed

Protecting the Environment

"Climate change is real and has serious consequences for our economy, our livelihoods, and our health.  You don't have to go any further than communities across Vermont to hear about its early impacts. Just ask the businesses and families wiped out by Tropical Storm Irene. Ask ski lift operators worried about losing their jobs as the season shortens. Or ask sugar makers who are coping with uncertainty over when the season will start and how long it will last.  This is a problem that can be solved. If we ignore the costs of carbon pollution, we will lose to other countries America’s advantage in developing the clean energy technologies of the future."


Spotlight on the Environment

Rep. Welch is a leader in the House on initiatives to tackle climate change and protect our environment. As a member of the Safe Climate Caucus and House Sustainable Energy and Environment Coalition, he has taken on climate change skeptics and helped defeat efforts to handcuff the Environmental Protection Agency and gut landmark environmental laws and initiatives such as the Clean Air Act, the Clean Water Act, and the Land and Water Conservation Fund.  He is the House leader on energy efficiency, a vocal opponent of the Keystone XL tar sands oil pipeline, and a strong supporter of a cap and trade system to check carbon emissions.     

More on Protecting the Environment

October 3, 2017 Press Release

WASHINGTON, October 3 – Vermont’s congressional delegation – Senator Patrick Leahy (D), Senator Bernie Sanders (I), and Representative Peter Welch (D) – announced Tuesday that the City of St. Albans was awarded a $10.6 million grant and loan package from United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) Rural Development to make major improvements to its wastewater treatment plant. The improvements will reduce the inflow of phosphorous pollution to Lake Champlain, increase plant reliability, and improve the plant’s energy efficiency performance.  

September 8, 2017 Press Release

Washington, DC – Last evening, the House of Representatives approved a bipartisan amendment authored by Rep. Peter Welch (D-VT) that restores $4.4 million in fiscal year 2018 federal funding for the Lake Champlain Basin Program (LCBP). The amendment, cosponsored by Rep. Elise Stefanik (R-NY), rejects the recommendations of President Trump and the House Appropriations Committee to eliminate funding for the program.

June 6, 2017 Press Release

BURLINGTON, Vt., June 6 -- Vermont’s congressional delegation announced Tuesday that Williston and Richmond have received a combined $656,000 in U.S. Forest Service grants to create town forests.

In a joint statement, Sens. Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) and Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.), and Rep. Peter Welch (D-Vt.) said, “We are pleased these federal funds will allow the towns of Williston and Richmond to conserve key tracts of forest, increase public access and improve recreational opportunities for local residents.” 

June 1, 2017 Press Release

BURLINGTON — Senator Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.), Senator Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) and Representative Peter Welch (D-Vt.)  announced Thursday that three southern Vermont organizations will share a total of $700,000 in Brownfields Program assessment and cleanup grants from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.  Brownfields grants allow communities to assess and clean up contaminated properties to facilitate their redevelopment and reuse.

March 28, 2017 Press Release

WASHINGTON—Today, after President Trump signed an executive order that calls on the Administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to begin dismantling the Clean Power Plan, Rep. Peter Welch (D-VT) went to the House floor to slam the plan.

March 28, 2017 Page

Mr. Speaker, President Trump today plans to unravel the Clean Power Plan – a plan that once implemented would reduce carbon emissions by 170 million tons, the equivalent of 166 million cars.

Why? False science. False economics.

Some of the best minds of the 18th Century apparently are advising President Trump on science matters. This planet is melting. We’ve had the worst wild weather in centuries. The three hottest years on record. Let’s not deny what’s before our very eyes.

March 2, 2017 Press Release

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Reps. Bob Goodlatte (R-Va.), Jim Costa (D-Calif.), Steve Womack (R-Ark.), and Peter Welch (D-Vt.) released the following statement today after reintroducing the Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS) Reform Act (H.R. 1315):

January 26, 2017 In The News

On a visit to GE Aviation’s local plant Thursday, Rep. Peter Welch, D-Vt., hailed the company as one that has accepted the realities of climate change and is pursuing measures to reduce energy use and carbon emissions.
Welch contrasted the company’s efforts in recent years with the ongoing debate in Washington over whether climate change is real.

“You don’t have to waste time debating whether the problem exists,” Welch said, adding that many large corporations have seen the tangible benefits of reducing their carbon footprint.

December 14, 2016 Press Release

BURLINGTON, Vt.  – With leaders of Vermont’s environmental community at his side, Rep. Peter Welch (D-VT) renewed his commitment to reform the federal ethanol mandate in the new Congress that convenes in early January.  Joining Welch were representatives of the Sierra Club, National Wildlife Federation (NWF), Lake Champlain International, and Vermont Natural Resources Council.  Speakers highlighted the harm to the environment resulting from a federal corn-based ethanol mandate. 

December 13, 2016 In The News

By Mike Polhamus

Vermont’s lone member of the U.S. House said Tuesday he intends to fight any efforts to expand a massive nationwide subsidy to corn farmers instituted during the George W. Bush administration.

The subsidy, which requires that gasoline contain a certain percentage of ethanol made from corn, hurts Vermont farmers by making corn for livestock scarce and therefore expensive, said Democratic Rep. Peter Welch at a press event in Burlington.