"As a Member of Congress, as an American, and as a father, I feel a keen sense of obligation to care for our environment and the other creatures that share the Earth with us. As President Theodore Roosevelt said, "The nation behaves well if it treats the natural resources as assets which it must turn over to the next generation increased, and not impaired, in value.'" -- Congressman Adam Schiff
Addressing Climate Change:
Congressman Schiff believes that we face no greater threat to the world's habitability than climate change. Unlike the struggles that the nation has faced before, this is not a challenge that one generation can face alone, but rather one that all generations will face for decades to come. Global warming is a crisis that is not imminent, but already present. We are witnessing the effects of our changing climate on agriculture and forestry, ecosystems and human health, water resources and coastlines -- and these problems will only intensify in the coming years unless we take decisive action.
Now, as the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) takes on the task of regulating greenhouse gas emissions from large power plants, legislation has been introduced in the House to forbid the EPA from regulating these pollutants. Schiff has opposed these efforts to gag the EPA, because in California, we can already see the effects of global warming in the form of extreme fires and devastating storms.
Ensuring Clean Water:
Schiff has long supported legislation to keep our drinking water clean. The San Fernando Valley aquifer has been polluted with elevated levels of hexavalent chromium, or "chromium 6," for many years. Schiff has secured more than $1.5 million to upgrade a City of Glendale treatment plant to ensure that it can remove this chemical.
Schiff also led an effort by the California Congressional Delegation to get the National Toxicology Program (NTP) to conduct a definitive test of whether chromium 6 in drinking water can cause cancer. In response, the NTP began a rodent study several years ago, and the preliminary report was released in May 2007, concluding that chromium 6 is in fact a carcinogen. Schiff is now pressing the EPA to include the results of this study in a new health assessment for chromium 6, which will lead to tighter regulations and protect our children from this carcinogen.
Protecting Wilderness Lands and Wildlife Refuges:
Believing that wilderness lands, including the Southern California foothills, are treasures that we must continually work to preserve for our children and our children's children to enjoy,Schiff has supported many efforts to preserve wilderness lands across the country. In the 110th Congress, he introduced the Rim of the Valley Corridor Study Act, legislation that commissioned a study on the feasibility of expanding the Santa Monica Mountains National Recreation Area to include the mountains and canyons in the Rim of the Valley Corridor. The Corridor consists of parts of the Santa Monica Mountains, Santa Susanna Mountains, San Gabriel Mountains, Verdugo Mountains, San Rafael Hills, and adjacent connector areas to the Los Padres and San Bernardino National Forests--in essence many of the hills and mountains surrounding Burbank, Glendale, and other communities in our area.
Schiff testified before the House Subcommittee on National Parks, Forests, and Public Lands in support of the Rim of the Valley Corridor Study Act, and the bill became law in 2008. The National Park Service has now commenced the study, and Schiff is working to ensure its success. For more information on the study, click here.
Schiff is also a cosponsor of the Udall-Eisenhower Arctic Wilderness Act, which would permanently protect the Artic National Wildlife Refuge from oil drilling and development. He believes that we can increase our energy security without drilling in environmentally sensitive areas.
Preserving Endangered Wildlife:
Schiff strongly supports the protection of endangered species, wherever they live. The Multinational Species Conservation Fund helps protect endangered African and Asian elephants, rhinoceros, tigers, great apes, and marine turtles from extinction. These animals are endangered due to habitat loss and poaching, and this funding provides for on-the-ground conservation programs around the world. As a member of the House Appropriations Committee, Schiff has strongly advocated fully funding this program for many years.
In the 111th Congress, Schiff supported legislation to broaden the types of rare species protected through the Multinational Species Conservation Fund. The Great Cats and Rare Canids Act would protect wolves and great cats such as lions, leopards, and cheetahs from habitat degradation and other threats. Schiff voted for the Great Cats and Rare Canids Act when it passed the House on April 21, 2009. Many countries around the world do not have the resources to adequately protect these majestic creatures from human encroachment, and Schiff believes it is our responsibility to preserve these animals for future generations around the world to admire.