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Our nation’s current energy policy is outdated, inefficient and relies far too much on foreign oil.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.
- Prioritizing Environmental Justice – Cosponsor of a bill that would officially establish the Office of Environmental Justice at the Environmental Protection Agency and codify the Environmental Justice Small Grants program. This program provides critical funding to community-based projects aimed at addressing the disproportionate impact of climate change on frontline communities.
- Defending Our Public Lands – With the current Administration attacking our natural spaces, I remain committed to preserving the sanctity of our National Parks and National Monuments. I have cosponsored H.Con.Res. 27, which expresses the sense of Congress that America’s Federal public lands are national treasures and belong to all Americans. I have also sent numerous letters to the Administration in defense of our National Monuments. I have also supported conservation by introducing H.R. 1791 which would designate the Mountains to Sound Greenway as a national heritage area. This would help coordinate conservation and management efforts in the area.
- Ensuring the Purity of America’s Water – Joined my colleagues in expressing opposition to the Trump Administration’s efforts to rescind the Clean Water Rule. I have also continuously expressed strong support by requesting robust funding for the Clean Water State Revolving Fund and the Drinking Water State Revolving Fund during the annual appropriations process.
- Increasing Access to the Outdoors – Cosponsor of bill that would codify a National Park Service administered cost-share grant program that invests in America’s urban parks. 80 percent of Americans now live in urban areas but 30percent of America’s residents in the 100 largest cities do not have a park within a 10 – minute walk of their home. The Legacy Partnership program will help resolve this issue, in particular in underserved and low-income neighborhoods.
- Keeping Our Air Clean for Generations to Come - As a Cosponsor of the BREATHE Act, I support improving 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.
- Investing in Our Future - I support 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.
- 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.
- 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 seen firsthand how the growth of the region and SeaTac has increased the amount of airplane noise, emissions, and impacts that some residents of the District are experiencing. I am committed to working with local stakeholders, the FAA, and the Federal government to reduce adverse impacts of airplanes in the region. 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). As a member of the Quiet Skies Caucus, I continue to organize community meetings and explore 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.
As a member of the United for Climate and Environmental Justice Task Force, I believe we must continue to fight for communities, both around the world and in the U.S., who are the most vulnerable. As the second-largest emitter, 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. Despite President Trump’s decision to withdraw the U.S. from the Paris Climate Agreement, I will continue to work to ensure these groups are fully engaged in designing and implementing policy to ensure equitable outcomes.
For more information on this issue, sign up to receive Congressman Smith’s email updates.
More on Energy & Environment
“I could have supported most, if not all, of the funding in this bill but for the fact that just two months ago, we cut taxes by $2 trillion dollars. This legislation is like quitting your job and only then deciding that you want to buy a new house and a second car. I am supportive of spending the money necessary to meet our country’s needs. I am not in favor of continuing to borrow it; I want to raise the revenue necessary.
Congressman Adam Smith Delivers Weekly Democratic Address
“The Republicans just reneged on their responsibility to properly fund the federal government because they were too busy giving away a $1.5 trillion dollar tax cut to corporations and the wealthy. By falling back on another short-term continuing resolution, almost a quarter of year past the due date for proper appropriations bills, they have clearly demonstrated that they are not willing to do their job. Their lack of action will directly and negatively affect the people who reside in the Ninth Congressional District and across the country.
“The Republicans’ final tax bill affirmed my opposition to this dangerous proposal. Today’s vote increased the deficit by a staggering $1.5 trillion, which overwhelmingly benefits the rich and corporations at a time when we are running historic deficits and wealth is concentrated at the top. This bill was so partisan and poorly constructed, and the process so lacking, that Senate parliamentary rules required provisions to be dropped at the last minute, which required the House to vote on the bill twice.
“As Republicans in Congress continue to push their reckless tax cuts, they put at risk crucial agencies and programs, such as the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD), military pensions, and Medicare. In addition to massively benefiting the wealthy and corporations, as well as reducing revenue by more than a trillion dollars, the tax bill endangers important mandatory spending priorities on which middle class and working Americans rely.
Washington, D.C. – House Armed Services Committee Ranking Member Adam Smith (D-WA) made the following statement on passage of the Fiscal Year 2018 National Defense Authorization Act Conference Report:
“This week, the House of Representatives voted to approve the Fiscal Year 2018 National Defense Authorization Act Conference Report. This legislation establishes the policies of the Department of Defense that impact our service members, their families, and our local communities.
“Our country’s federal government is already massively in debt and cannot sustain the tax cut President Trump and the Republicans are proposing. It is both bad economic and fiscal policy to be debating a $1.5 trillion tax bill at a time when we are already $20 trillion in debt and running deficits of nearly $700 billion. With deficits already projected to rise for the foreseeable future, this bill will have devastating impacts on our national debt and the priorities that the constituents of my district have made clear they support.
“Today’s budget vote is the height of irresponsibility. The resolution passed today is not a legitimate budget. It is the vehicle for reckless tax cuts that will drive up the deficit and overwhelmingly benefit the wealthiest Americans. Tax cuts for the rich will do little to stimulate our economy or help the middle class. Since 2001, the Bush tax cuts have cost us trillions in lost revenue, and produced virtually no economic growth. Another tax cut now will only further jeopardize our economic and national security.
“We are not looking at a ’10 out of 10’ response to Hurricane Maria. Eighty percent of Puerto Rico still doesn’t have electricity, thirty-five percent of people still don’t have water, and people have been forced to get water from Superfund sites. The Army Corps of Engineers has estimated that it needs about 2,000 additional workers to get the lights turned back on, yet there are only about 200 on the ground right now.
Washington, D.C. – Today, Congressman Smith introduced H.R.4087, the Protecting Airport Communities from Particle Emissions Act. Recent studies have indicated that ultrafine particles (UFPs) from a variety of sources could have detrimental impacts on human health.