I believe we have a moral obligation to protect our environment for current and future generations.
The scientific consensus indicates that global warming will have an increasing impact on our society and will contribute to droughts, floods, more extreme weather, as well as the erosion of our coastlines. In fact, NASA scientist James Hansen, one of the country's leading climate researchers, has said that "we have a very brief window of opportunity to deal with climate change...no longer than a decade, at the most."
In the 110th Congress, I intend to make global climate change a high priority. I am pursuing legislation that preserves our planet, by exploring specific regional, environmental, and economic sector vulnerabilities to global warming.
I have grave concerns about mountaintop mining, which has serious effects on our waterways and natural areas, especially in Kentucky. Mountaintop mining involves the removal of the top of a mountain in order to recover coal. Excess dirt and rock from the mountaintop are usually disposed of in valleys and often destroy streams and wildlife habitat. While regulations have been implemented to address the environmental impacts of mountaintop mining, they fall short of protecting the environment, including our lakes and streams. The federal government can and must do more.
Whether by addressing mountain top mining and global warming, safeguarding our parks and wilderness areas, or expanding the Clean Water Act, conservation programs, and other critical initiatives, I am committed to doing all that I can to protect our environment.