Kevin Simons is a junior at Lehigh majoring in Economics with minors in International Relations and Earth and Environmental Sciences. He can be reached at [email protected]. The opinions expressed in this article are those of the author alone.
As a college student who is entering the workforce in a few years, I don’t have the ability to ignore the elephant in the room: climate change. After sitting in the classroom for years learning about the irreversible effects that climate change will have on my generation and the generations to follow for years to come, it’s hard for me to watch our politicians fail to see the gravity of the climate crisis we’re facing.
Not only is it imperative for our elected leaders to spearhead action to make our economy, businesses and homes more sustainable and greener, but it is important to ensure our politicians have a sense of respect and ownership for the ecological well being of their home state of Pennsylvania. There’s one politician in particular that comes to mind for the exact opposite reasons: complete disrespect for our environment.
Lisa Scheller, the Republican nominee for the 7th congressional district has demonstrated a blatant disregard for the environment through her own professional career. Since Scheller became the CEO of Silberline Manufacturing, her company has paid nearly $120,000 in penalties to the United States Environmental Protection Agency and $129,000 to the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection (DEP).
Scheller and her company have shown complete disregard for the environment as illustrated by their 64 DEP violations, including the improper disposal of industrial waste. If Lisa Scheller couldn’t be bothered to respect the environment as Silberline’s CEO, I have no faith that she’ll do it while in Congress. I don’t trust her to work to get Perfluoroalkyl and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) out of our water, or to oppose offshore drilling, or to have the most basic respect for Pennsylvania’s mountains and rivers — I don’t trust her to work to tackle the climate crisis.
If you’re someone like me — someone whose number one priority is seeing that our elected officials take the climate crisis seriously — I strongly urge you to vote for Congresswoman Susan Wild this November. She understands the threat we face and she’s working to fight it.
Congresswoman Wild helped pass the biggest investment in climate protection in U.S history through the Inflation Reduction Act. She’s a chair of a Climate Change Task Force and is working to make sure that our generation has a liveable world. She stood up against Big Oil to protect our natural resources and national lands from offshore drilling, and she’s fought to get PFAs out of our waters.
Lisa Scheller’s record consists of paying hundreds of thousands of dollars in environmental violation fines. Susan Wild’s record consists of passing significant legislation to protect our environment. It’s a pretty clear contrast — we need to re-elect Susan Wild if we want to have a hope of climate action.