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Issue Position: Energy and Environment

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Issue Position: Energy and Environment

Congressman Earl Blumenauer, a member of the House Select Committee on Energy Independence and Global Warming, has earned a well-deserved reputation as an environmental champion in the House of Representatives. A vocal critic of the Bush administration's efforts to undermine important environmental regulations, he has supported efforts to strengthen the Clean Air Act and the Clean Water Act. He has also helped pass new laws that promote clean energy, fight global warming, and encourage more efficient use of valuable natural resources.

At home in Oregon, Congressman Blumenauer has been a leader in protecting some of Oregon's most treasured icons including Mt. Hood and the Columbia Gorge. He is passionate about having the federal government act as a better partner to help local communities to improve watershed health and protect open space.

Global Warming
Salmon and Watershed Restoration
Water and Oceans
Protecting Public Lands and Oregon Treasures
International Environmental Issues

Read a report about the Bush Administration's efforts to roll back landmark, bipartisan environmental protections - including the Clean Air Act, the Clean Water Act, and the Safe Drinking Water Act.

Global Warming

Congressman Blumenauer is a member of the Congressional Climate Change Caucus, which brings climate change issues to the attention of Members of Congress through an agenda of education and policy recommendations. He is also an original co-sponsor of the "Safe Climate Act," which would reduce greenhouse gas emissions to 80% below 1990 levels by 2050. In Oregon, Blumenauer is a regular speaker at student campuses and forums related to energy and climate change. He is also a leader in reducing the use of fossil fuels by the transportation sector by promoting livable communities, in which people can choose to walk, bike, or use public transit instead of drive. For more information on Congressman Blumenauer's efforts to promote livable communities, click here.

Salmon and Watershed Restoration

Salmon are a valuable economic, cultural, and environmental resource for the Pacific Northwest, and Congressman Blumenauer is a leader in efforts to restore self-sustaining, harvestable populations of salmon to the Columbia and Snake Rivers. Through his previous position on the Water Resources Subcommittee of the Transportation and Infrastructure Committee, he helped secure millions of dollars for salmon habitat restoration projects on Lower Columbia River and Tillamook Estuaries. Blumenauer has been an outspoken critic of the Bush administration's misguided proposals on northwest salmon, and has encouraged the Bush administration to keep all scientifically credible options on the table when crafting a salmon recovery plan. He is a strong supporter of maintaining flows on the Columbia River and its tributaries that allow for the recovery of endangered salmon. Blumenauer fought to keep open the Fish Passage Center, a scientific body that provides data to decision-makers on salmon, steelhead, bull trout, and lamprey throughout the Federal Columbia River system. Click here to see a letter that he sent to BPA in support of the Center.

Congressman Blumenauer has also been a leader in the fight to bring the local Johnson Creek Watershed back from the brink. This watershed was once written off as a dumping ground, and vital fish passage corridors were threatened by development and blocked by culverts. With Blumenauer's support, local jurisdictions began coordinating long term restoration efforts which are now bearing fruit. Culvert removal and in stream restoration has renovated miles of habitat, and salmon are swimming in Johnson Creek once again.

Water and Oceans

Congressman Blumenauer understands the value of clean water, both at home and abroad. Watch a recent speech on water he delivered to the American Water Resources Association in January of 2007. As a member of the Ways and Means Committee, he is working to find creative ways to finance water infrastructure projects around the country. He has fought for broad application of the Clean Water Act by co-sponsoring the "Clean Water Authority Restoration Act," which would clarify that the Clean Water Act has jurisdiction over all waters of the United States, not just "navigable waters." Congressman Blumenauer urged increased protections for America's waters in a March 2004 hearing in the Water Resources Subcommittee.

As a lifelong observer of the effects of pollution and runoff on Oregon's rivers, Congressman Blumenauer is deeply concerned about the state of our waterways. He is a champion of Willamette River clean up and meets regularly with local partners to help local jurisdictions keep faith with the Clean Water Act, and fashion local and federal incentives that would reduce industrial, urban, and agricultural pollution in Oregon's waterways.

Congressman Blumenauer is one of the leaders in Congress working to reform the Army Corps of Engineers by making the agency more environmentally and fiscally responsible. For more information about Blumenauer's work with the Army Corps, page on that issue.

Water supply is a source of tension in the United States and around the world. Increasing demand for water in dry areas of the Western United States, for example, has led to conflicts between a wide variety of interests, including cities, irrigators, Endangered Species Act obligations, fishermen, and Native American tribes. Congressman Blumenauer has been involved in efforts to resolve the water conflict in the Klamath Basin. In 2002 and 2003, he authored an amendment to the Interior Appropriations bill to reduce water and pesticide intensive crops on the Tule Lake and Lower Klamath Wildlife Refuges.

Congressman Blumenauer is a member of the Oceans Caucus, which focuses on promoting scientific research of our planet's oceans, and the House Congressional Coastal Caucus, which keeps Congress informed about coastal issues and concerns, including needed reauthorizations such as the Coastal Zone Management Act, budget information and changes in Administration policy, such as the Army Corps of Engineers' role in flood control, shore protection and navigation projects. He is outspoken about the danger that unsustainable development and sprawl will bring to the environmental health of our coastlines and oceans.

Protecting Public Lands and Oregon Treasures

Protecting Mount Hood and the Columbia River Gorge, two of Oregon's crown jewels, is a top priority for Congressman Blumenauer in Congress. In 2006, the House of Representatives passed H.R. 5025, the Mt. Hood Stewardship Legacy Act, which Blumenauer co-authored with Rep. Greg Walden (R-OR). For more information, click here.

Congressman Blumenauer has consistently voted against drilling for oil in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge. He is a co-sponsor of H.R. 39, the "Udall-Eisenhower Arctic Wilderness Act," which would add the 1.5 million acre coastal plain of the Arctic Refuge to the National Wilderness Preservation System, thereby prohibiting oil and gas drilling on the coastal plain. He has also spoken out on the House Floor numerous times against drilling in the Arctic. Congressman Blumenauer visited the refuge in July of 2001.

Congressman Blumenauer has worked to protect National Forests in Oregon and around the country. He is a cosponsor of the Alaska Rainforest Conservation Act, which would protect areas of the Tongass National Forest in Alaska. He has urged the Bush administration and the U.S. Forest Service to immediately implement, without changes, the Clinton era Roadless Area Conservation Rule, and has co-sponsored the Roadless Area Conservation Act, which would codify the rule into law. To see his statement on the Bush administration's recent announcement on the Roadless Rule, click here.

International Environmental Issues

As a former member of the International Relations Committee, Congressman Blumenauer is a strong voice for improving the environment abroad. In 2006 he led a group of Democratic members who urged the Committee to hold a hearing on global warming. In 2003, he worked with the Committee to hold a hearing on environmental issues in the Asia and the Pacific Subcommittee. He also traveled to Johannesburg, South Africa, to represent the United States and citizens of Portland at the World Summit on Sustainable Development in the summer of 2002. To see a photo from the Summit, click here.

The world's population is increasing, and its supply of water is decreasing. According to the World Meteorological Organization, from 1900-1995, global water demands grew six-fold, more than two times the rate of the world's population. Congressman Blumenauer used his position on the International Relations Committee to advocate for U.S. leadership in providing drinking water and sanitation to developing countries around the world. Across the globe, one child dies every 15 seconds due to lack of access to safe drinking water and sanitation. In 2002, the United States and 185 other countries agreed to cut in half the percentage of people without access to water and sanitation, yet the United States still isn't fulfilling its commitments. To correct that, Congressman Blumenauer introduced "landmark legislation," H.R.1973, titled "The Senator Paul Simon Water for the Poor Act of 2005," which makes providing clean water a foreign policy objective. After overwhelming passage in the House and unanimous passage in the Senate, President Bush signed the Senator Paul Simon Water for the Poor Act (Public Law 109-121) into law on November 30, 2005.


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