As a co-Chairman of the House Sustainable Energy and Environment Caucus, Congressman Connolly plays a leadership role in efforts to protect America's environment and public health and push for investment in clean and renewable energy. In Congress, he helped pass the largest investment in clean energy in American history and supported legislation to reduce global carbon emissions. Recently, he has led efforts to oppose drilling off the coast of Virginia or in the Chesapeake Bay and introduced amendments to protect the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA), and to require oil companies to pay the full cost of oil spill cleanups. He will continue to steadfastly oppose efforts to repeal the Clean Air Act, Clean Water Act, Antiquities Act, the Clean Power Plan, the Paris Climate Agreement and other important environmental legislation.
Congressman Connolly has worked with colleagues from around the region to fight President Trump's proposal to eliminate Chesapeake Bay Restoration funding and supports comprehensive legislation to restore the Bay. He has also opposed efforts to slash funding for the Environmental Protection Agency by a third. He has also been a leader in expanding federal conservation efforts, including supporting the reauthorization of the Land and Water Conservation Fund and fully funding our National Park System. In addition, Congressman Connolly has continued his efforts to establish powerful voluntary tax incentives to complete America's 11 National Scenic Trails.
Locally, he has worked with community stakeholders to complete missing segments of the Potomac Heritage National Scenic Trail, and open Featherstone National Wildlife Refuge to the public. These efforts complement his efforts as a local government official, where he led the effort to build the 41-mile-long Connolly Cross County Trail and helped protect 10% of Fairfax County as county-owned parkland. He helped design and implement the county's first comprehensive environmental plan which subsequently won a national award. Congressman Connolly was recently recognized as the "Protector of Potomac" by the Riverkeeper Network for his efforts on strengthening federal coal ash regulations.