Throughout his career, Rep. Petri has been a strong supporter of sensible legislation to protect the environment and encourage conservation practices. He opposed efforts to drill for oil and natural gas in national monuments and in the Great Lakes. He also opposes drilling for oil in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge (ANWR). Furthermore, Rep. Petri has cosponsored many bills that would provide sensible environmental protection, promote the cleanup of contaminated lands, enable small communities to comply with federal environmental requirements, and provide for better research and response into environmental problems.
Rep. Petri is very proud of his pro environment voting record.
Rep. Petri has taken the lead on a number of environmental issues, including, for example, opposition to environmentally damaging federal water projects such as the billion dollar Auburn Dam that would have destroyed a pristine canyon along the American River in California. He is happy to say that, with the help of some of his friends, Congress was successful in finally stopping the Auburn Dam after a ten year battle. He also has consistently voted against drilling in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge (ANWR) as well as supported renewable fuels.
In the 109th Congress, Rep. Petri and Rep. Tom Udall introduced the Keep America Competitive Global Warming Policy Act, which is a mandatory, economy wide, up-stream, cap-and-trade, all greenhouse gas reduction policy. The continuing absence of meaningful, mandatory policy is a significant impediment to global consensus on slowing the growth of greenhouse gas emissions. Rep. Petri believes that any climate change policy ought to start slowly so as not to shock the economy and not cause unnecessary premature capital turnover.
Rep. Petri is the lead Republican cosponsor of the Salmon Economic Analysis and Planning Act (SEAPA), which will help protect wild salmon in the Columbia and Snake Rivers. Salmon born in the Snake River in Idaho and Washington are having problems returning upriver to spawn due to a series of dams that have been erected to provide hydro-electric power to the region. One of the primary provisions of the SPA will require the General Accountability Office to study the impact that the removal of the four dams would have on the energy situation in the Pacific Northwest, and to identify possible alternative sources of energy production.
There can be no doubt that we urgently need to clean up our environment and protect our natural resources for the future. Although Rep. Petri considers economic development to be very important, he believes that reasonable regulations can provide for both economic growth and high environmental standards.