Smith Works to Protect Environment for Future Generations
New Jersey is home to miles of stunning coastlines, lush pinelands, pristine waterways and expansive open spaces. With these gifts, comes a responsibility to protect and preserve our natural treasures.
I believe we have an obligation to ensure a healthy and safe environment for the benefit of current as well as future generations.
Throughout my tenure in Congress, I have sought to protect New Jersey's beaches by securing millions of dollars in federal funding for beach replenishment and renournishment projects and by supporting clean water initiatives. I have consistently cosponsored legislation to prevent offshore drilling off our New Jersey coastline and supported efforts to prevent dumping from polluting our beaches.
However, it is not solely our beaches that need our attention. Former industrial sites in the Fourth District pose environmental health concerns that must be remedied and public health problems that stem from them need to be addressed. In light of this, I have consistently advocated for a strong federal environmental cleanup response and have worked hard to ensure federal funding for environmental remediation at Brownfield and Superfund sites across the Fourth District of New Jersey.
As a member of the House Foreign Affairs Committee, I believe it is equally imperative that we address environmental issues--such as climate change--on a global scale. Global warming is a real threat and an increasing danger to our environment. All major greenhouse emitting countries need to cooperate in reducing and stabilizing atmospheric concentrations of these gases, and the United States must play a leadership role in bringing nations together for a global solution to climate change.
To that end, I am the lead Republican cosponsor of The International Climate Cooperation Re-engagement Act (H.R. 2420) which calls for active, dedicated U.S. re-engagement in the effort to reach a global agreement on climate change. I am pleased that many provisions of this legislation were included as part of a comprehensive bill to help better protect our environment which was signed into law in December 2007 (P.L. 110-140).
Additionally, I have teamed up with Rep. Ed Markey (D-MA) to introduce a bill to create an International Renewable Energy Agency (H.R. 5529), a global effort to help further the use of renewable energy technologies.
We must also reduce our dependence on fossil fuels. As we move further into the 21st century, we must continue to invest in modern clean energy solutions--including wind, solar and fuel cell technology. I will continue to work with my colleagues to promote a comprehensive, multi-faceted approach to achieve our goal of clean energy reliance.