Energy and Environment
Conserving Washington’s historic wilderness areas has been a mission of mine since I came to Congress.
“In utilizing and conserving the natural resources of the nation, the one characteristic more essential than any other is foresight… the conservation of our natural resources and their proper use constitute the fundamental problem which underlies almost every other problem of our national life.” - President Theodore Roosevelt
That’s why I’m excited Senator Patty Murray (D-WA) joined me in reintroducing the Alpine Lakes Wilderness Additions and Pratt and Middle Fork Snoqualmie Rivers Protection Act. This legislation protects the Alpine Lakes Wilderness and designate both the Pratt and Middle Fork Snoqualmie Rivers as Wild and Scenic. It was signed into law in the 113th Congress.
Congressional wilderness and Wild and Scenic river designations are the strongest and most durable means to ensure that these special areas are maintained for our children and grandchildren to experience. As Co-Chairman of the Land Conservation Caucus and the National Parks Caucus, rest assured that I will continue to champion legislation that protects our environment.
Energy is critical to our way of life. It’s what heats our homes, fuels our cars and its cost certainly has an impact on our wallets. The energy policies of our nation affect the environment, our relations with other nations, and our national security. Energy independence and national security are critical issues for America that these things transcend politics. America cannot maintain global leadership without innovation and new ideas, and we cannot lead if we increasingly depend on foreign nations to power our way of life. The future security of our country is at stake.
Through my position on the tax-writing House Ways & Means Committee, I continue to work to develop tax incentives that help lead us toward an energy independent future. For example, I have introduced bipartisan legislation that would extend the tax incentives for the production of wind power, geothermal power, hydropower, and other forms of renewable energy through 2016. Extending the incentive will leverage private investment to bring proven energy projects online, bolster domestic manufacturing, and reduce electricity costs for businesses and families. Additionally, I authored a bipartisan comprehensive package of energy efficiency tax incentives to extend and expand five key energy efficiency incentives for the construction of a new home, retrofitting and existing one, upgrading commercial properties to conserve energy and cut energy costs, and assisting consumers seeking assessments of home energy usage.
I believe national energy policy should:
- Conserve and make more efficient use of existing energy sources;
- Encourage the diversification of our energy supply through incentives for the development of alternative and renewable energy; and
- Ensure we have an adequate bridge to an energy-independent future.
The choices we make now to attain energy independence and conserve resources may be among the most significant decisions of our times. We must drive innovation, research and market-based strategies to achieve a secure, prosperous future and leave our children and grandchildren a nation better than the one we inherited.