Environment and Energy

“Protecting the environment is essential for our community’s health and quality of life. Our kids are counting on us to leave them a world with clean water to drink and clean air to breathe. And the longer we wait to tackle climate change head-on, the more severe the economic and environmental consequences will be.”

The science is clear: we are on an alarming trajectory in which our climate is changing, presenting an existential threat to our environment, our national security, our health, and our economy. Congress has a responsibility to address these consequences. Congresswoman Underwood supports a comprehensive approach to energy policy that expands investment and deployment of renewable energy products and public transportation. As one of our most critical public health agencies, she is an advocate for a fully funded and appropriately staffed Environmental Protection Agency with the authority to regulate, monitor, and enforce clean air and water standards, and other safeguards to that protect public health. She is supportive of policies that promote clean energy solutions, support good-paying American jobs, and maintain national security. She is also focused on protecting Illinois and the Great Lakes region from invasive species and other environmental threats and supports conservation policies that preserve America’s national treasures—our beautiful wildlife and public lands—for generations to come.

Congresswoman Underwood has introduced H.R. 3819, the Climate and Health Protection Act, to help state and local governments prepare for the public health impacts of climate change. You can learn more about this legislation here (link to one-pager).

Illinois’ 14th Congressional district has seen unprecedented flooding over the past years and due to climate change, we can only expect things to get worse. Flooding has caused millions of dollars in damage to businesses, homes, farms, and infrastructure. Congresswoman Underwood is committed to supporting our communities as they rebuild and recover from flooding and finding long-term solutions to the issue.

Sign up for Congresswoman Underwood’s updates on these issues and more here. You can also share your views with Congresswoman Underwood by emailing her here.

More on Environment and Energy

August 27, 2020 Press Release

WEST CHICAGO— Today, Congresswoman Lauren Underwood (IL-14) celebrated the Department of Energy's recent announcement selecting Fermilab to lead one of the Department's five new National Quantum Information Science Research Centers. The Department's announcement is a part of the U.S.

August 27, 2020 Press Release

WASHINGTON—Today, Representatives Lauren Underwood (IL-14), Lisa Blunt Rochester (D-DE), and Senator Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) led a letter of 28 Members of Congress to Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Administrator Andrew Wheeler expressing their deep concern with a new rule which would weaken the EPA’s ability to limit dangerous methane pollution from the oil and gas sector. The letter also highlighted the link between dangerous methane emissions and the impact on maternal health risks, particularly for Black women.

June 30, 2020 Press Release

WASHINGTON— Today, Representative Lauren Underwood’s (IL-14) legislation, the Climate and Health Protection Act, was included in the Unveiling of the House Select Committee on the Climate Crisis’ comprehensive congressional climate action framework. The Committee’s framework highlights Underwood’s proposal to strengthen national public health planning by reinstating the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s (CDC) Climate and Health Program, an important tool in communities’ response to the climate crisis.

January 7, 2020 Press Release

WASHINGTON— Today, Congresswoman Lauren Underwood (IL-14) announced that her efforts to extend the biodiesel tax credit to support Illinois’s rural economy were successful. The Underwood-backed legislation to extend the biodiesel tax credit through 2022 and retroactively apply the credit for 2018 passed as a part of the appropriations package for Fiscal Year 2020 and was signed into law by the President on December 20, 2019.

November 25, 2019 Press Release

WASHINGTON— Congresswoman Lauren Underwood (IL-14) announced support for the 100% Clean Economy Act of 2019 (H.R. 5221), legislation setting a nationwide goal of achieving a 100 percent clean energy economy by 2050, defined as net-zero greenhouse gas emissions across all sectors of America’s economy. The legislation directs federal agencies to put the United States on a path toward meeting the achievable 100 percent clean energy economy goal.

November 15, 2019 Press Release

WASHINGTON— Today, Congresswoman Lauren Underwood (IL-14) testified before the House Select Committee on the Climate Crisis to advocate for meaningful, long-term solutions to climate change.

June 26, 2019 Press Release

WASHINGTON— Congresswoman Lauren Underwood (IL-14) announced today that her efforts to secure important resources for health care, the protection of climate change data, ethylene oxide research, and Fermilab were successful. The legislation passed as a part of the House appropriations package (H.R. 2740, H.R. 3055, and H.R. 3351) for Fiscal Year 2020. The passage comes after a months-long open and transparent process in which Underwood solicited ideas and requests from local governments, non-profits, organizations, and individuals across Illinois’ 14th Congressional District.

June 25, 2019 Press Release

WASHINGTON— Today, Congresswoman Lauren Underwood (IL-14) wrote to U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Secretary Sonny Purdue expressing concerns over recent reports of USDA officials hiding or evading publication of research on the effects of climate change on agriculture.

May 8, 2019 Press Release

WASHINGTON – Congresswoman Lauren Underwood (D-IL) joined Representatives Cindy Axne (D-IA) and Adrian Smith (R-NE) and a bipartisan group of 34 members to urge to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to stop issuing Small Refinery Exemptions (SREs) for large or unqualified refiners under the Renewable Fuels Standard (RFS) program.

May 8, 2019 Press Release

[WASHINGTON, D.C.] – U.S. Senators Tammy Duckworth (D-IL) and Dick Durbin (D-IL), along with Representatives Brad Schneider (D-IL-10), Bill Foster (D-IL-11), Dan Lipinski (D-IL-3), Sean Casten (D-IL-6) and Lauren Underwood (D-IL-14), wrote to the Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry (ATSDR) this week requesting the agency immediately begin air quality monitoring at two facilities in Lake County, Illinois, to determine whether ethylene oxide (EtO) emissions exceed safe levels.