Energy & Environment
Our nation’s current energy policy is outdated, inefficient and relies far too much on foreign oil. This undermines our national security and leaves us at the mercy of gas and oil prices, which can change dramatically in short periods of time. This is unacceptable, and Americans deserve better. We must establish energy policies that protect consumers, reduce our carbon footprint, and strike a balance between moving our economy away from its dependence on fossil fuels and mitigating the economic impact of this transition.
It is important that we look towards new sources of cleaner and renewable energy, rather than the fossil fuels that we have depended on over the past centuries. I have and will continue to encourage the use and development of more efficient technology. A mix of sustainable energy technologies offers one of the most cost-effective options for reducing the export of U.S. dollars to pay for burgeoning oil and natural gas imports. Renewable energy technologies also have the unique potential to tap domestic resources and create new sources of energy like solar and wind power. We have the technology and innovation to develop a sustainable domestic energy program with the potential to lead the global market; however, this can only succeed through improved energy efficiency and the development of alternative energy sources. The domestic production of renewable energy resources will strengthen our economy and loosen our dependence on foreign oil and its environmental costs.
Preserving the wilderness has always been a top priority of mine. These wilderness lands help to provide higher quality drinking water, cleaner air, and protection for wildlife. Further, our wilderness provides opportunities for recreation, family vacations, and educational outings. As a father of two children, I am pleased that our region has several beautiful national parks within a short distance from our home. I am committed to conserving these crucial resources for future generations.
Since their passage in the early 1970’s, Clean Air and Clean Water Acts continue to play an important role in improving and protecting the quality of life for Americans everywhere. As the nation confronts environmental challenges that threaten to impact our daily lives, it is important that these foundational policies continue to provide the legal framework necessary to protect American families from harmful pollutants.
The harmful impacts of our dependence on oil contributes significantly to climate change and disproportionately impact people and communities of color, particularly those living in poverty, in a number of ways. In addition to environmental and structural damages inflicted by extreme climate events, people with lower incomes often experience more negative health effects than other groups, making climate change a public health crisis. I have been a strong advocate for policies that support environmental justice efforts.
I will continue to fight for communities, both around the world and in the U.S., who are the most vulnerable. As the second-largest emitter of pollution, with only about five percent of the world’s population, it is the responsibility of the U.S. to lead by example in reducing carbon emissions and ensure that people and communities of color are not forgotten. I will work to ensure these groups are fully engaged in designing and implementing policy to ensure equitable outcomes.
- Investing in Our Future - I sent a letter to President Obama in support of the Green Climate Fund, which provides critical resources for resilient and low-emission development around the world, complementing existing efforts to alleviate poverty and promote global health, stability, and democracy.
- Safe Drinking Water for All Americans - Cosponsored the Families in Flint Act, a bill that would provide $765 million in federal funding to replace all damaged water infrastructure, provide wraparound services to help the residents of Flint, MI, cope with the impacts of lead exposure, and create a Center for Excellence in Flint focused on studying the impact of this exposure on the population.
- Keeping Our Air Clean for Generations to Come - As a Cosponsor of the BREATHE Act, I am working to improve air quality standards, turning back immunities extended to fracking operations that have allowed the industry to bypass aggregate emissions standards under the Clean Air Act.
- Scrutinizing the Impact of Coal Trains – I sent a letter to the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers urging them to conduct a cumulative environmental impact statement regarding the impact of increased coal export from terminals in Washington and Oregon.
- Ensuring the Purity of America’s Water - Joined my colleagues in expressing strong support and requesting robust funding for the Clean Water State Revolving Fund and the Drinking Water State Revolving Fund in the Interior & Environment Fiscal Year 2017 funding package.
- Respecting Our History – Co-led a letter with Congressman Reichert to the United States Board on Geographic Names (USBGN) urging the them to act quickly in recognizing and accepting the name change of Howard Lake in Washington State.
- Peace and Quiet - The expansion and changes at SeaTac Airport over the years have caused local communities to endure increased air traffic above their homes. I have remained active and engaged with these communities by bringing their concerns to relevant officials at the Port of Seattle and the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA). I have organized meetings, and explored the possibility of legislation at the federal level to alleviate the noise burden that these communities are experiencing.
- National Parks Are for Everyone: Joined a letter led asking the National Park Service Director to work with Congress to ensure our nation’s park system is more inclusive and reflective of the diversity of American history and experience.
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More on Energy & Environment
Ninth District Congressman Adam Smith will host a Town Hall on Saturday, March 4, 2017 in Seattle. Congressman Smith is looking forward to meeting with constituents and hearing all questions and concerns.
Who: Congressman Adam Smith
What: Rep. Smith is hosting a Town Hall event where constituents can meet and interact with the Congressman and voice concerns on issues of the budget, immigration, education, the economy, national security and more.
When: Saturday, March 4, 2017, 10:00 am to 11:30 am
Congressman Smith to Host Town Hall in Seattle
The beginning of a new year is a time to reflect on both our accomplishments during the last year, as well as an opportunity to consider thoughtful questions about what the future may hold.
“President Trump continues to sign vague and ill-conceived executive orders that have clearly not been properly considered in a rush to fulfill campaign promises. The executive order related to regulation signed this week is just another gimmick under the guise of reducing regulations. It arbitrarily requires that for every regulation passed, two have to be eliminated. This would wreak havoc on our regulatory system and hurt American businesses that are faced with an unpredictable and unsound regulatory environment.
“President Trump has failed to show that he understands the difference between a presidential campaign and the serious business of governing. To solve the challenging problems the President will undoubtedly face, he should review the facts, as well as engage in pragmatic conversation and thoughtful debate. President Trump’s current approach to governance, reliant on gimmicks and sound bites, seems doomed to fail from the beginning.
I want to serve my constituents in any way I can. Whether you need help with a federal agency, are trying to find out if federal grants are available for your project, or are considering applying to a service academy, my staff and I are accessible for those who need assistance.
“This week the House of Representatives passed a much needed reauthorization of the Water Resources Development Act (WRDA), a bill that will assist local governments in improving their infrastructure. The legislation provides the Army Corps of Engineers with the authority to study water resource issues, construct projects, and modify existing water development projects.
“I remain concerned about the source of the tank vapor problems at the Hanford Nuclear site, and the need to implement a permanent solution that will protect Hanford workers. This has been an on-going issue that has sickened dozens of workers and must be more decisively resolved in order to protect worker health and safety.
“As Ranking Member of the House Armed Services Committee, I remain committed to ensuring a rigorous, safe clean-up at Hanford and I will continue to fight to ensure that during this process the health of all workers is a priority.”
Climate change is a serious national security threat facing our country, and we are already seeing its effects in Washington. Our reliance as a nation on fossil fuels and other traditional sources of energy is unsustainable and is a serious vulnerability in our nation’s defense. The Department of Defense (DoD) has been an innovator in pursuing clean and alternative energy sources as well as planning for and mitigating against the impact of climate change.
“The House Armed Services Committee is maintaining its bipartisan tradition. We worked through a lot of issues throughout the mark-up process, including a number of very controversial provisions. We crafted legislation the way it is supposed to be done. We held productive debates, disagreed, voted, and at the end of the process we passed a very significant piece of legislation.