The Environment: A Top Priority
September 2, 2008

Dear Friend,

I wanted to take this opportunity to update you on some of the work being done during the 110th Congress.  I have taken an active role in making our environment a priority.  From curbing global warming through cleaner fuels and renewable resources to protecting our clean water supplies and oceans, I have supported legislation that protects our environment and benefits New Jersey.  Recently, I was recognized by Environment New Jersey for my 100% record on supporting legislation to protect the environment.  I am proud of this recognition and will continue to work towards a cleaner environment. 

As you know, reducing our dependence on oil and shifting to more renewable, environmentally friendly fuel sources is vital to protecting our environment.  I recently voted for the Renewable Energy and Energy Conservation Act of 2008 to shift $18 billion in subsidies from the largest oil and gas companies to emerging clean energy industries.  I also supported H.R. 6, the Energy Independence and Security Act, which requires utility companies to generate 15 percent of electricity from renewable sources -- such as wind power, biomass, wave, tidal, geothermal and solar -- by 2020; encourages consumers to purchase more environmentally friendly vehicles and home appliances; creates new “green” jobs; and increases fuel economy standards to 35 miles per gallon by 2020 for new cars and trucks.  Increasing fuel economy standards will save 1.1 million barrels of oil a day and save consumers $22 billion at the gas pump, while also substantially reducing global warming pollution.

To further help curb the effects of global warming, I have supported several environmental bills.  I am a cosponsor of H.R. 1590, the Safe Climate Act of 2007.  Introduced by Rep. Henry A. Waxman (D-CA), H.R. 1590 would direct the Environmental Protection Agency to establish targets for a 2% reduction in greenhouse gas emissions each year from 2010 to 2050, as well as regulations requiring the reductions to meet such targets.  I am also a cosponsor of H.R. 6316, the Climate Market, Auction, Trust & Trade Emissions Reduction System Act of 2008, which creates a market-based, cap-and-trade system to put strong yet achievable limits on greenhouse gas pollution.  Funds from the auction are directed primarily to consumers and workers, green technologies, and the transition to a clean energy economy.  Additionally, I recently voted for H.R. 6049, the Renewable Energy and Job Creation Act of 2008, which aims to reduce greenhouse gas emissions through incentives for alternative energy production and for conservation.    

As many of you requested in your letters, I have also been working to protect our clean water supplies.  For example, I voted for and cosponsored H.R. 2452, the Sewage Overflow Community Right-to-Know Act, which ensure that sewage treatment plants monitor and report discharges of raw sewage.  I also cosponsored HR. 6460, the Great Lakes Legacy Reauthorization Act of 2008, which will triple the funding to continue the clean up of contaminated sediments in the Great Lakes, and is a critical regional strategy for protecting and promoting the health and vitality of the world’s largest freshwater basin. 

Protecting our environment and pushing clean energy solutions are a major priority for me, and I will continue to promote and support sound environmental legislation. 

Congressman Albio Sires Signature
Albio Sires
Member of Congress