Press Releases

Rep. Adam Smith (D-Tacoma) announced today that he has secured $1 million for the National Defense University pilot program. This project has the basic premise that information technology is the keystone for military transformation and network centric warfare.

“As a Member of the House Armed Services committee, it is important that we understand the best way to utilize technology on the battlefield,” said Smith. “The funding of this program gives us information on new uses for information technology for new missions such as stabilization and reconstruction operations and homeland security.  Also, many of these new technologies that form the basis for transforming our military are vulnerable to disruption in various ways which could adversely affect US military capabilities. We have several projects designed to analyze this problem and to suggest possible solutions.”

As a leading proponent of technology, Smith sees the usefulness of this study. The projects will also focus on how we stay ahead of potential military competitors when it is the commercial sector that is driving most of the innovation in this area because competitors have access to the same commercial technology. The program is pursues several projects designed to allow the U.S. military to acquire more efficiently and more quickly new innovative technologies coming out of the commercial IT sector. Finally, the projects will show us the best way to share information technologies with our allies, who are playing an increasingly important role in combat operations.

Smith requested funding through the 2005 Defense Appropriations bill. It is expected that this bill will be finalized before Congress adjourns this year
 

Rep. Adam Smith (D-Tacoma) announced today that he has secured $3 million for the AirWeighs system to be installed on the U.S. Air Force C-30 fleet.

Investigators of the crash of an Air Force Special Operations Command C-130 in Afghanistan blame the crash on miscalculated weight and balancing.  The AirWeighs system is an onboard weights and balance system that can improve aircraft safety, improve speed and cost-savings by measuring the actual aircraft weight and center of gravity.

“It is critical that the aircraft in the U.S. Air Force have the most advanced safety systems available,” said Smith. “As we ask our men and women in uniform to put their lives on the front line, we at home must ensure that we are providing them with the best equipment in the world that will bring them home safely.”

Smith requested funding through the 2005 Defense Appropriations bill. It is expected that this bill will be finalized before Congress adjourns this year.

 

Congressman Adam Smith (D-Tacoma) announced today that he is sending a letter to EPA Administrator Mike Leavitt urging him to take a stronger stand on mercury pollution. Mercury is a highly toxic chemical whose effects on the central nervous system are comparable to those of lead, particularly for unborn fetuses and very young children whose brains are still developing.

“The Bush Administration should set the highest bar possible for mercury pollution,” said Smith. “Mercury exposure is on the rise, with the EPA estimating that 1 in 6 women of childbearing age in the United States have unsafe levels of mercury in their blood, and that as many as 630,000 children may be born each year with unhealthy levels of mercury in their blood.  As hundreds of thousands of people march this weekend in Washington, D.C. to protect women’s lives, we must tell the Bush Administration to take a stand on this dangerous substance and start reducing emissions immediately.”

During the 1990s, government regulation greatly reduced mercury emissions from medical and municipal waste incineration, leaving power plants as the main problem.  In 2000, the EPA determined that mercury is a hazardous substance as defined by the Clean Air Act, which requires it to be strictly controlled. Yet, the Bush Administration is proposing a plan that could create mercury “hot spots” throughout the country by allowing some power plants to avoid reducing mercury at all by permitting them to instead buy credits from other power plants in different locations that have made excess reductions.  The EPA also is proposing to regulate mercury as a non-toxic pollutant, requiring far less stringent controls.  Specifically, EPA’s proposed approach delays the day when power plants must install state-of-the-art mercury controls until at least 2018.

On this Earth Day, Smith also announced that he recently signed a trio of letters aimed at securing our nation’s energy future:

- The first letter expresses support for funding in the Energy and Water Appropriations bill for renewable energy programs at the Department of Energy.

- The second letter supports funding for Energy Efficiency Grant programs as well as Energy Efficiency Research and Development programs.

-  The third letter expresses his support for funding EPA’s Energy Star program.

Smith would like to see the United States eventually become a leading exporter of innovative renewable energy and energy efficiency technologies rather than an importer of foreign oil.

“Investments in these programs will help our country achieve the goal of exporting clean and renewable energy,” said Smith. “In addition to diversifying our energy supply, programs such as these will help to create new jobs, drive economic growth, and benefit our environment.”

Congressman Adam Smith (D-Tacoma) announced today that he is requesting funding for the Rural Information Technology Jobs Initiative, which it is estimated that it will create 50 new jobs per year in rural communities in Washington state.

“The advances in technology have helped our economy enormously, but there’s more we can do,” Smith said. “We need to make sure all regions of the country, including our rural communities, are benefiting from the economic growth and job creation technology can help provide. The Rural Information Technology Jobs Initiative will help create good jobs in rural communities.

The goals of this initiative are to strengthen and diversify the economy of disadvantaged rural communities by creating information-based jobs, raise the technology skills level of workers in rural America, and reduce our dependence on skilled workers offshore.  It will also build the capacity of rural communities to continue creating jobs on their own in the future.

Smith requested funding through the 2005 Commerce, Justice, State, Judiciary and Related Agencies Appropriations bill. It is expected that this bill and its funding will be finalized before Congress adjourns this year.

Congressman Adam Smith (D-Tacoma) announced today that he is requesting funding for the Marine Science and Technology program run by Highline Community College.

“It is exciting that a college in our community will have the only saltwater pier in the country that can be used for scientific research,” said Smith. “Located in the Redondo neighborhood, this waterfront facility will be on the leading edge of maritime research and will provide an invaluable tool not only to the students at Highline Community College but the center will provide hands-on learning to local residents as well.”

The center will provide opportunities for our community in the areas of environmental health, science, and technology education.  The MaST’s programs will increase environmental health awareness, literacy, and promote stewardship of environmental and business related health issues.  Training will include topics such as urban water quality, preserving marine dependent habitats, and minimizing ecological impacts of toxins released in the water.  The facility will be used to promote science and technology education to K-12, community college students, and community members, while providing training opportunities in science and technology to K-12 teachers.

Smith requested funding through the 2005 Labor, Health and Human Service, Education and Related Agencies Appropriations bill. It is expected that this bill will be finalized before Congress adjourns this year.