Issue Position: Energy & Environment
Leading the Way into a New Clean-Energy Green-Collar Economy
As concern over US reliance on foreign fossil fuels grows, so does the push for increasing domestic renewable energy resources and creating "green" jobs. As a member of the House Transportation Subcommittee on Water Resources and Environment for ten years, I worked to increase renewable energy production and to protect our environment for future generations. I am proud to have a 94% rating from the League of Conservation Voters.
I fought for key energy provisions in the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, which provided funding for low and middle class families to undergo weatherization of their home and to renovate existing public buildings to make them more energy efficient. This puts money back into people's pockets by reducing the costs of utilities. Moreover, this stimulus legislation provided $19 billion for clean water, flood control, and environmental restoration projects in our communities. Additionally, I have introduced legislation to provide a tax credit to spur the development offshore wind, which has enormous potential to create jobs and reduce our dependence on fossil fuels here in New Jersey.
Recently, I have demanded that the Environmental Protection Agency protect New Jersey's skies from dirty cross-border pollution from upwind states. I have strongly opposed any efforts to drill for oil off the Jersey Shore, ensuring we protect our tourism industry and eliminate the possibility a gulf oil spill-type disaster could spoil this national treasure. I also strongly support the efforts of the EPA to limit carbon pollution from power plants that are one of the major contributors climate change, one of the greatest threats to our country and the world.
Back in New Jersey, I am committed to cleaning up the sites which have been polluted and contaminated as a result of industrial activity. I have worked to obtain federal support to assist in the cleanup of abandoned chemical facilities in Clifton, chromium contamination in Garfield, and redevelopment of the Superfund site in Edgewater. Furthermore, I am dedicated to cleaning up and preserving our waterways including the Passaic and Hackensack Rivers, and am committed to the protection and preservation of the Meadowlands.
As a lifelong resident of Paterson, another issue that has been very important to me is promoting the Great Falls Historic District in Paterson as a destination for both tourists and locals. One of my proudest accomplishments was passing legislation to create the Great Falls National Historical Park, and I continue to work with the National Park Services to ensure that our new park meets its full potential.
I have been one of the strongest supporters of environmental conservation in the United States Congress, and I will continue to pursue policies to promote the use of renewable energy, to cleanup the environment and to create jobs in the process. It is critical that we leave this world to our children in better shape than we got it.