As a citizen of South Florida and your representative in Congress, I feel a special obligation to ensuring that we protect the natural wonder that is Florida for generations to come. I am pleased to tell you that the 110th Congress is making environmental conservation and protection a priority - and our hard work has already produced significant results.
The Florida Everglades is a national treasure which must be preserved for all Americans and future generations. The Everglades play a crucial role in the everyday lives of all Floridians, not only by serving as Florida's main source for drinking and farming water, but also as a safeguard against flooding that threatens our state every hurricane season. The Everglades is also home to many threatened and endangered species. Protection of these animals will depend upon restoring the natural flow of water through the Everglades and cleaning up water pollution which threatens their natural habitat. I will do everything in my power to secure funding for the Everglades to restore its beauty and protect Floridians' way of life.
Climate Change and Global Warming
Climate change is one of the most important social challenges of our generation. We have a moral obligation to act swiftly and forcefully to prevent the worst effects of climate change on our planet. The consequences of failing to act could be severe on a global level, and particularly here in Florida.
As one of our first actions in the New Direction Congress, the House of Representatives created the Select Committee on Energy Security and Global Warming. It is critical to the economic, social, and environmental well being of our nation that we raise the visibility of these urgent issues and begin discussing both local and global solutions. I am committed to approaching this problem, defining solutions, and charting progress that looks beyond the next election cycle, the next decade, and even the next century.
Greening the Capitol
I believe that Congress must lead by example, and we are doing just that. As the Chairwoman for the House Appropriations Subcommittee on the Legislative Branch, I am actively involved in the Greening the Capitol Initiative. This program takes the first steps towards an efficient energy policy. The House of Representatives is striving to make the Capitol a "carbon neutral" complex, which will reduce energy consumption by over 50% in 10 years. The plan also implements non-toxic cleaners, and improved recycling and water conservation.