ON EARTH DAY, BISHOP HERALDS RECENT PROGRESS FOR ENVIRONMENT
Congressman Bishop today celebrated Earth Day and pledged to continue his work in Congress to protect the environment on Long Island and around the country, while investing in a greener, more prosperous economy.
"Every American has a role to play in preserving our environment and that includes leaders in Washington," said Bishop. "After years of neglect and pro-pollution policies by the Bush Administration and its allies in Congress, the new majority has literally been a breath of fresh air for those of us fighting to preserve our natural resources for future generations."
A tireless advocate for the conservation of Long Island's natural resources, Congressman Bishop co-authored the Beach Protection Act, passed last week by the House of Representatives, to improve the quality of beaches and coastal recreation waters on Long Island and around the country. Coastal areas produce 85 percent of all U.S. tourism dollars, fueling a huge economic engine.
Bishop continues to work with the Long Island Sound Congressional Caucus to secure funding for the Long Island Sound Restoration Act, which provides aid to Suffolk County, and other local communities, to repair sewage treatment plants and decrease nitrogen levels in Long Island Sound. This year, they were successful in securing $5 million for the Long Island Sound Restoration Act and $5 million for the Long Island Stewardship Act. They are working on additional funding for next year.
Bishop also authored the Open Space Preservation Promotion Act to encourage open space by ensuring that families who sell their development rights on an installment basis for conservation purposes can pay their capital gains taxes as they receive the payments rather than all at once. In the coming weeks, Bishop will introduce the Farm Preservation and Land Conservation Act, which would allow taxpayers to defer payment of their estate taxes on agricultural land when it passes from one generation to another if the land remains undeveloped.
Bishop voted for the bipartisan Energy Independence and Security Act of 2007, which has become law. The legislation will increase vehicle fuel efficiency standards and help save American families $700 to $1,000 per year at the gas pump. New building, appliance and lighting efficiency standards included in the new law will save consumers $400 billion through 2030. Additionally, the new law will help save 5.3 billion metric tons in energy-related CO2 emissions from 2008-2030 and cut the growth in energy-related emissions of CO2 by 10 percent.
Democrats in Congress are currently working to enact new legislation, the Renewable Energy and Energy Conservation Tax Act of 2008, which will promote investments in renewable energy, create hundreds of thousands of well-paying "green collar" American jobs, and end multi-billion dollar subsidies to big oil companies.