Press Releases

Congressman Adam Smith will visit downtown Kent’s transit-oriented development site and Second Avenue Extension Project on Wednesday, August 15, 2001 at 10:00 a.m. Smith has worked to provide partial federal funding for the Second Avenue Project through the 2002 federal budget.

The project extends 2nd Avenue through the former Borden Chemical site in an arc pattern to connect with 4th Avenue. The roadway begins adjacent to the Sounder Commuter Rail Garage and planned Metro Kiss and Ride site. The roadway will facilitate pedestrian, transit and auto traffic in and through downtown Kent.

“This is an exciting time for the city of Kent,” said Congressman Smith. “The Second Avenue Extension will be a much-needed economic liaison between the city of Kent and its citizens, enabling employment, services and transit-oriented housing to prosper. I am honored to have been an active participant in the development of this project.”

The Second Avenue Extension will serve as an anchor for the planned mixed-use development called “Kent Station.” The City is currently selecting a master developer for Kent Station that is projected to include market-rate housing, retail, restaurants, entertainment, office and secondary education venues.

WHAT: Congressman Adam Smith visits Second Avenue Extension Project
DATE: Wednesday, August 15th
TIME: 9:55 - 10:30
LOCATION: Borden Plant Parking Lot, just north of 4th and Smith in downtown Kent - directly across from the King County Regional Justice Center

Ninth District Congressman Adam Smith voted against the Republican energy proposal, H.R. 4 last night, saying that it doesn't do enough to forge an energy policy for the 21st century.

"Our country's energy policy is vitally important to our economy, our environment, and our national security," said Smith. "I strongly believe we need to make an aggressive effort to develop and implement the energy technologies of the future that will allow us to wean our dependency on fossil fuels. Unfortunately, the proposal in front of us shortchanges these investments and actually encourages a greater dependence on fossil fuels."

Smith requested the opportunity to offer his own amendment to the legislation, co-sponsored by fellow New Democrat Coalition Members Rick Larsen (D-WA) and Ron Kind (D-WI), but the House Leadership restricted amendments to the bill.

"My amendment would have made the federal government a leader in using technologies to improve energy efficiency and renewable and alternative sources of energy," Smith said. "Right now, the federal government spends $8 billion a year on energy costs and consumes about 2 percent of all the energy in the country. This kind of commitment to the energy technologies of tomorrow could make a significant difference. I was disappointed that the House was not given the opportunity to debate and vote on this."

Smith said there are several problems with H.R. 4 that make it unacceptable. First, H.R. 4 would provide nearly $7 billion in incentives for fossil fuel exploration and extraction on public lands, a provision Smith opposed as a Member of the House Resources Committee. Although it authorizes increased funding for renewable and energy efficiency research and development and tax credits, Smith points out the money is not there for those investments.

"Ironically, this plan finds real dollars for fossil fuel incentives – it takes the money out of the Land and Water Conservation Fund – but it really only gives lip service to research and tax credits for energy technologies of the future," explained Smith. "I would have supported an amendment to pay for the research and development and tax credits, but unfortunately, the House Leadership did not give us an opportunity to do so."

Second, the legislation does not adequately set standards for more fuel-efficient vehicles. Smith supported an amendment to require sport utility vehicles to meet fuel economy standards of 26 miles per gallon for model years 2006 and 2007, but that amendment was rejected on a 160 - 269 vote.

"Unfortunately, I think we are missing some real opportunities," said Smith. "We should be investing in the energy technologies of the future to help grow our economy and protect our environment. We should set high standards for vehicles, buildings, and appliances and encourage people to purchase more energy-efficient goods. This legislation isn't innovative and creative enough, and I am hopeful that this debate will continue into the fall so that we can enact some forward-thinking energy policies into law."

Smith also voted for an amendment to protect the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge, but the amendment was defeated.

Ninth District Congressman Adam Smith said today that the energy proposal the House of Representatives is scheduled to consider tomorrow, H.R. 4, needs significant improvement in order to forge an energy policy for the 21st century.

"Our country's energy policy is vitally important to our economy, our environment, and our national security," said Smith. "I strongly believe we need to make an aggressive effort to develop and implement the energy technologies of the future that will allow us to wean our dependency on fossil fuels. Unfortunately, the proposal in front of us shortchanges these investments and actually encourages a greater dependence on fossil fuels."

Smith has requested the opportunity to offer his own amendment to the legislation, co-sponsored by fellow New Democrat Coalition Members Rick Larsen (D-WA) and Ron Kind (D-WI). The amendment would:

*Improve the efficiency standards for federal buildings;
*Require that, by 2011, non-hydropower renewable energy sources account for 10 percent of the power consumed by the federal government; 
*Require that, by 2011, 10 percent of vehicles in the federal fleet be alternative fuel or hybrid vehicles;
*Improve the fuel economy standards for the federal fleet of vehicles.

"My amendment would make the federal government a leader in using technologies to improve energy efficiency and renewable and alternative sources of energy," Smith said. "Right now, the federal government spends $8 billion a year on energy costs and consumes 3 percent of all the energy in the country. This kind of commitment to the energy technologies of tomorrow can make a significant difference."

H.R. 4 would also provide nearly $7 billion in incentives for fossil fuel exploration and extraction on public lands, a provision Smith opposed as a Member of the House Resources Committee. Although it authorizes increased funding for renewable and energy efficiency research and development and tax credits, Smith points out the money is not there for those investments.

"Ironically, this plan finds real dollars for fossil fuel incentives – it takes the money out of the Land and Water Conservation Fund – but it really only gives lip service to research and tax credits for energy technologies of the future," explained Smith. "The United States used to be the world's leader in developing new energy technologies, but a steep decline in the research and development budgets has led to our slipping behind other countries. We have the opportunity to become an exporter of energy, because while we don't have as much oil or gas as other countries, Americans have innovation and creativity, and we can change the way the world gets energy if we make a commitment to the technologies of the future."

Smith will support amendments to actually fund the research and development of renewable and alternative energy sources and energy efficiency technology, as well as the tax incentives to encourage use of these technologies. He will also support common-sense measures to improve our fossil fuel extraction, such as the building of a pipeline from Alaska to the lower 48 states.

"We also need a greater commitment to efficiency standards," noted Smith. "In fact, just today a study by the National Academy of Sciences was released that concludes we can dramatically increase vehicle fuel efficiency and that any increased cost would pay for itself. We have the technology and the know-how to do this, and we should work with auto manufacturers and consumers to develop the best, most energy-efficient cars in the world."

Smith said he is hopeful the energy debate will continue. "There are still many unaddressed issues, including energy industry restructuring, emissions standards, and transmission," he said. "I am fully committed to continuing work on this critically important issue throughout the rest of the year and into the future."

In an effort to promote a more balanced approach to a national energy agenda, Congressman Adam Smith yesterday voted against final passage of HR 2436, The Energy Security Act, in the Resources Committee, instead supporting an alternative measure that focused on modernizing our energy infrastructure and common sense energy exploration on our public lands.

"The bill passed out of the Resources Committee continues our country's dependence on fossil fuels and ignores any reasonable, balanced approach to resolve the energy crisis," said Smith.

The legislation streamlines the public lands leasing process and includes $7 billion in "royalty relief": Measures to exempt oil and gas companies from paying fair market value for using public lands for resource extraction.

"The high price of energy ought to be incentive enough for businesses to drill for natural gas and oil on public lands," said Smith. "I certainly don't believe we should cheat the taxpayer by not charging fair market value for the resources on our public lands."

The bill also opens up the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge (ANWR) for drilling, a provision which Smith opposes, and is widely viewed as unlikely to be approved by the House or Senate. On a vote of 30-19 the committee failed to pass an amendment which would have prevented this.

Smith instead voted for an alternative package which would have expedited construction of a natural gas pipeline from Alaska to the lower 48 states. Originally authorized by Congress in 1976, the Alaska Natural Gas Pipeline would enhance the delivery of 35 trillion cubic feet of natural gas already discovered in existing development fields to the lower 48 States through the construction of a pipeline delivery system that follows the Alaska Highway.

"I've learned that one of our biggest energy problems is transmission congestion," explained Smith. "We need ways to move oil and natural gas around the country, and we need transmission lines to move electricity. Simply authorizing more drilling on our public lands without relieving the congestion we already have in our energy infrastructure doesn't make sense."

The substitute would have also provided the Administrator of the Western Area Power Administration to take such actions as necessary to relieve power transmission constraints, and ensured that the American public receives just compensation from the development of oil and gas resources on federal lands and waters. It would have doubled the Land and Water Conservation Fund's authorized annual use of receipts generated by Outer Continental Shelf oil and gas leasing activities from $900 million to $1.8 billion through 2015.

The substitute failed 21-30.

"Although I am disappointed that this bill was not substantially improved in the Resources Committee, I am committed to working in a bipartisan manner on this critical issue," said Smith. "I am hopeful that we can construct an energy package with a technology emphasis that would focus on modernizing our energy infrastructure, energy efficiency, and renewable energy sources."

Other House Committees are working on pieces of the President's energy package this week. Floor action is expected on some pieces before August.

Congressman Adam Smith is happy to announce that Fleet and Industrial Supply Center's (FISC), Regional Contacting Department awarded a contract to T.A.P. Tool Incorporated, a Veteran Owned Small Business in Fife, Washington. The award term value if all options and performance standards are met is over $44 million for the 15-year term.

"I am always pleased to hear of hard-working, well-deserving businesses in my district being rewarded with significant contracts," said Smith. "The Federal government should make a better effort to work with small businesses like T.A.P. Tool."

T.A.P. Tool's offices and 10,000 square feet of warehouse space are located on the Puyallup Indian Reservation at 11421 52nd East in Fife which is located in a Historically Underutilized Business Zone (HUBZONE).

T.A.P. Tool has begun supplying the Defense Supply Center in Philadelphia with fasteners for government end users under a Blanket Purchase Agreement (BPA). Under the newly awarded contract, T.A.P. Tools will provide full service distribution for commercial and government industrial hardware to the Intermediate Maintenance Facility at Naval Submarine Base, Bangor.

"This contract represents a real team effort and is significant for a number of reasons," said Captain Dennis V. Belt, commanding officer for FISC Puget Sound. "The reasons are:

Uses eCommerce for ordering Direct Vendor Delivery's (DVD) eCatalog, utilizing receipt confirmation and billing. 
DVD contract that uses Just-In-Time concepts. 
Involves use of Acquisition Reform…award term fee with possible 15-year performance. 
A regional contract that will support a regional customer base. 
Contractor is a Fife-based, small, veteran owned business in a HUBZONE. 
$44 million award." 
Mr. Chuck Woodruff, the owner of T.A.P. Tool, served in the United States Marine Corps during the Vietnam conflict. Mr. Woodruff's company has 15 employees and stocks over 4000 parts for over 100 different manufacturers.