Press Releases

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.

Congressman Adam Smith expressed his pleasure with Department of Transportation Secretary Mineta's announcement today that Alaska Airlines was awarded the two slots at Ronald Reagan National Airport in Washington, DC.

"I am very pleased that Alaska Airlines was awarded the slot at National Airport in Washington D.C," said Smith. "This will be the first direct flight into Seattle from National Airport, and I think it shows that the Puget Sound region continues to grow in stature. Congratulations to Alaska and its thousands of employees -- I'm very proud to have them in my district." 

The slots were made available due to American Airlines' acquisition of Trans World Airlines (TWA). Only six pairs of the slots are available at Reagan National and are reserved for non-stop flights of more than 1,250 miles. The DOT approved Alaska Airlines' application over nine other airlines who were all competing for the coveted slots. Each pair consists of one takeoff and one landing daily.

Alaska plans to begin once-daily round trip service in mid-September using 172-seat Boeing 737-900 aircraft. No other carrier offers either nonstop service from Seattle or same plane, one-stop service from Anchorage to Reagan National.

Smith has been diligently working with Alaska Airlines and the Department of Transportation since the initial announcement of an open slot earlier this year in an effort to ensure that Alaska Airlines was awarded these slots.

"I felt it was critical that the Puget Sound region have a nonstop flight into National Airport," noted Smith. "I'm very pleased Alaska Airlines, one of the best-rated airlines in the country, was awarded the slot."


After a stellar game at the plate and at shortstop, Ninth District Congressman Adam Smith was named MVP for the Democrats in the annual Congressional baseball game yesterday.

Despite the disappointing 9-1 loss for the Democrats, Smith had an outstanding game. He went 2 for 2 against Republican pitcher and former Seattle Seahawk Steve Largent and made several impressive plays at shortstop.

"I guess some of the Mariners magic has rubbed off on me," Smith joked. "Even though the Democrats lost, it's still for a great cause, and it's a great way to get to know your colleagues in a different way."

Over 50 Members of Congress participated in this year's Congressional Baseball game. Proceeds were donated to the Washington D.C. Literacy Council, the Little League Baseball Program of the Police Boys and Girls Club of Washington D.C., and selected charities of the Bowie Baysox, who also donated their home field for the game. Over $90,000 was raised.

Smith, proud to represent his hometown of Tacoma, wore an official Tacoma Rainiers uniform.

Congressman Adam Smith praised a report issued today by the Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS), a Washington, DC think tank, which called for broad reform of our nation's export control regime as it relates to high performance computer systems.

"The export control regime in place today is grounded in the past and doesn't recognize the realities of today's 'networked world'," said Smith, who served as a member of the CSIS "Blue Ribbon Commission on Technology and National Security in a Networked World," which developed this report. 

"I'm pleased that CSIS – led by some of the nation's leading defense experts – recognizes the need to fundamentally revamp the way we protect our nation's security," Smith continued. "The bottom line is that export control reform is critical to the future of U.S. global economic, technological and military leadership, and I look forward to working with the Administration and my colleagues in Congress to advance some of the key recommendations of this important report." 

A growing number of leaders in government and industry recognize that modernization of our nation's outdated export control regime is essential if the United States is to remain the world's leader in technology and innovation. The CSIS report is an important first step toward the development of a more effective, forward-looking system of export controls that can account for rapid developments in technology and international market conditions. 

As a Member of the House Armed Services Committee, Congressman Smith has been engaged in this issue throughout his service in Congress. Recently, he cosponsored legislation (H.R. 1553) which would repeal current export controls on high performance computers and would allow the Bush Administration to work with Congress, the national security community, and the computer industry to develop a better approach to protect our national security and allow our computer industry to compete globally.

Currently, due to language included in the 1997 National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA), the export control system is based on a measurement known as MTOPS (millions of theoretical operations per second). This metric, created by the government, has been found to be "outdated" and invalid by both the Department of Defense and the General Accounting Office in separate reports. In today's networked world, computer hardware controls are ineffective and, as the Defense Science Board concluded in another report, they have a "stifling effect on the U.S. military's rate of technological advancement" because they restrict U.S. companies' revenues for future research and development. 

The CSIS report says that controls based on MTOPS are increasingly "irrelevant" because foreign organizations can link many less-powerful computers together to perform complex calculations. Instead, the U.S. should focus efforts on protecting technologies that we can control, for example: tightening controls surrounding sensitive military software that could be used for designing sophisticated weapons.

"I have two main goals related to export control reform," commented Smith. "First, we need to protect what's important, like high end software for example, instead of spending resources to build walls around computer hardware that is commercially available from foreign suppliers. Second, we must take steps to ensure that the U.S. remains the world's technology superpower. This involves improving our military's IT capacity, enhancing our critical infrastructure, investing in much-needed research and development, and recruiting the best and brightest technology staffers to serve our nation's military. I'm fully committed to accomplishing these goals."