Issue Position: Environment

Issue Position

By:  Howard Berman
Date: Jan. 1, 2012
Location: Unknown

* Drilling

As a supporter of the congressional moratorium on offshore drilling, I find it especially upsetting that proponents have used the recent hurricanes in the Gulf region, and high energy costs that resulted, as a reason to slip a coastal drilling proposal into last year's budget reconciliation bill.

I also strongly oppose oil and gas exploration in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge (ANWR). This is one of the many reasons why I voted against the budget reconciliation bill when it came before the House in December and again in February, and I was deeply saddened by its passage.

* Global Warming

I strongly support goals that promote the reduction of greenhouse gases, the development of renewable energy sources, and the encouragement of tighter fuel economy standards. I am a cosponsor of the Climate Stewardship Act, bipartisan legislation that would limit the combined global emissions of major polluters in the electricity, industrial, commercial, and transportation supply sectors at 2000 levels by 2010. It would create a trading market for allowances to emit global warming gases, harnessing market forces to locate the most cost-effective ways to reduce greenhouse gases and creating positive incentives for steps such as storing carbon in farm soils and improving fuel economy in cars.

* Forest management

I support the permanent protection of all remaining roadless areas in national forests. Roadless areas are irreplaceable national assets, not just for their beauty, but also for the clean water supplies they protect, the wildlife habitat they provide, and the biodiversity they foster. I am once again an original cosponsor of the National Forest Roadless Area Conservation Act. This legislation will ensure the protection of pristine wild forests by reinforcing the Roadless Rule. If enacted, the legislation would prohibit new road construction but is not a complete ban on road building, road reconstruction or economic utilization.

I support the shifting of forest management from its focus on destructive, taxpayer-subsidized logging to scientifically based protection and restoration. That is why I am a cosponsor of the National Forest Protection and Restoration Act (NFPRA), legislation that would end the wasteful federal timber sales program which costs the taxpayer over $1 billion annually. The bill would redirect logging subsidies to the ecological restoration of forests and streams damaged by destructive logging practices.

Legislative action on these issues

* Original cosponsor of HR 3420, the National Forest Protection and Restoration Act

* Cosponsored HR 759, the Climate Stewardship Act

* Cosponsor of HR 3563, National Forest Roadless Area Conservation Act

* Obtained federal funding in 2004 and 2005 for the Sun Valley Watershed - a project that will address the chronic flooding in the area and also create recreational spaces, aesthetics, and wildlife habitat.

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