Congressman Paul Tonko has released the following statement applauding President Barack Obama's strategy to address climate change, released earlier today. As a co-chair of the Sustainable Energy and Environment Coalition (SEEC), Congressman Tonko was invited to attend the rollout of the administration's plan.
"I applaud the President for injecting back into the national discussion a reasonable and level-headed approach to combating climate change and promoting clean energy development," said Tonko."It is a moral imperative to protect our environment for future generations and continue our work to shift to a cleaner and greener energy economy.
"That being said, the administration can only do so much. It is my hope that Congress will work to bolster these efforts by passing meaningful legislation that ensures a more stable environment for our children and grandchildren, and leverages new opportunities to expand a "green-collar' job market, which holds the potential to put millions of Americans back to work. Acting now is our only option -- if for no other reason than to mitigate the exploding future costs of climate change.
"The provision in the President's plan to promote energy efficiency is especially important, as it represents the single best way we can save money, create good-paying jobs, and protect our environment. It is my hope that my colleagues in the House of Representatives will agree that energy efficiency is good foreign and fiscal policy just as much as it is good environmental and energy policy."
Prior to serving in Congress, Tonko worked as President and CEO of the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority (NYSERDA) and served for 15 years as Chairman of the Energy Committee in the New York State Assembly.