Susan understands how important it is to preserve America's environment. That's why she continually cosponsors legislation and supports efforts that protect wildlife, preserve wilderness, safeguard our rivers and wetlands, save our oceans and beaches, and care for our National Parks and Forests.
The annual scorecard of the League of Conservation Voters (LCV) has consistently given Susan a perfect score for her votes on the environment. Since 1970, the LCV has surveyed the most import votes on environmental issues.
Sustainable Energy and Environment Coalition (SEEC)
Susan is a proud member of the Sustainable Energy and Environment Coalition (SEEC), a focused, action-based caucus whose purpose is to advance policies that promote clean energy technology innovation and domestic manufacturing, develop renewable energy resources, and create green collar jobs. Read more about SEEC here.
Susan believes it's time to make renewable energy a key component of our nation's energy policy, and San Diego is poised to be a leader on this front. Developing and promoting the use of renewable energy is critical to reducing global warming, cleaning our air and reducing our dependency on fossil fuels. Making progress on this front continues to be a challenge, but Susan thinks it's important for Congress to come together and find workable solutions, and she continues to stand firm in working toward a future that holds cleaner, healthier air for future generations.
Protecting Endangered Species and Wildlife
It's important to protect species that are increasingly endangered from habitat destruction, overhunting, pollution, and climate change. Susan has supported legislation to stop the importation of polar bear parts as hunting trophies, provide financial incentives for conservation efforts targeting large cats (such as lions and snow leopards) and rare canids (such as the gray wolf and bush dog), and to prevent the slaughter of wild horses. In fact, she was named "Humane Advocate" for her work to protect animals. In addition, she has supported science-based conservation and restoration efforts for Columbia River salmon and the Mexican gray wolf.
Saving Our Oceans and Beaches:
As San Diegans, our oceans and beaches are one of our most prized possessions and keeping them clean and safe has always been a personal priority for Susan. That's why she's a member of the Congressional Oceans Caucus and has repeatedly cosponsored legislation to prohibit environmentally harmful oil drilling off the California coast.
The 2010 oil spill off the Gulf Coast was devastating, and Susan continues to push to restore and protect that area. She knows many San Diegans relate on an even more personal level with what the Gulf region has experienced, because we can imagine how awful it would be if our beaches and our marine life were affected by an oil spill. The oil spill underscores why offshore oil drilling isn't the answer to our nation's energy challenges, and why Susan remains seriously concerned about the effects it can have on our economy, precious coastal waters and marine life. It also highlights the need to diversify our energy sources to make us less dependent on oil.
Preserving Our Wild Spaces:
The supply of pristine, unspoiled land in this country is dwindling, and much of that remains vulnerable to environmental hazards, like gas and oil exploration and off-road vehicles. These wilderness areas are home to some of the most stunning natural beauty left in the world, which is why she has urged the Secretary of the Interior to protect some of these areas from destructive oil and gas development.
Susan was a proud original cosponsor of National Forest Roadless Area Conservation Act, which would help prevent road construction through parts of our National Forest system that are currently roadless. She has also cosponsored legislation to designate millions of acres of lands across the country -- including the Skykomish Valley in Washington and the Colorado Plateau in Utah -- as wilderness areas.
Safeguarding Our Rivers and Wetlands:
Because rivers often serve as the primary water supply for many communities and wetlands act as natural water filters, Susan has always treated the protection of these waterways not only as a matter of habitat preservation, but also as a public health issue. Susan has supported the Clean Water Restoration Act and the Clean Water Protection Act to both expand the amount of wetlands protected by the landmark 1977 Clean Water Act and prohibit the practice of dumping mining debris into rivers and lakes. Both of these efforts would go a long way to protect our delicate ecosystems and safeguard the quality of our water supply.
Caring for Our National Parks and Forests:
America's National Parks and National Forests are some of our nation's greatest natural treasures. Susan has always been a strong advocate for maintaining and caring for these preservation areas, which include the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge, the Tongass National Forest, and Yellowstone National Park. As funding for these natural and national treasures comes under fire, Susan will continue to fight to keep them open and preserved for everyone to experience for generations to come.
Protecting San Onofre State Park:
Susan authored the law that removed an unprecedented federal exemption for the planned toll road project through San Onofre State Park and Camp Pendleton. By repealing a federal law enacted in 2000 declaring that state law does not specifically apply to the project, Susan's legislation forced toll road proponents to play by the same regulatory rules as everyone else.
Throughout the process, Susan argued that the proposed toll road through San Onofre State Park undergo the same process and scrutiny as other transportation projects. For nearly a decade, this project received preferential treatment at the federal level. While our region's traffic issues must be addressed, the environmental and transportation issues surrounding this project are too important to forgo the integrity and transparency of the process.
San Onofre State Park is virtually the only publicly accessible open space remaining along the entire Southern California coast, and the campground threatened by the toll road is a very popular destination for youth groups, surfers, families, and seniors seeking convenient and affordable accommodations for coastal recreation in an undisturbed natural environment. Further, the toll road would run directly through the San Mateo Creek watershed, while threatening our national security by encroaching on Camp Pendleton.
Cleaning up Naval Base Point Loma Fuel Plume:
In February 2006, the U.S. Navy disclosed that a plume of fuel product in the ground water beneath Naval Base Point Loma was migrating north toward private residences in the neighboring community of La Playa. The fuel plume is the result of leaking tanks in the fuel farm located on the Navy's base. To ensure that residents were well informed, Susan hosted town hall meetings with Councilmember Kevin Faulconer, the Commander of Naval Base Point Loma and the California Regional Water Quality Control Board to address this issue and discuss the short and long term solutions.
Since that time, Susan has been focused on securing the federal funding that will provide a long term solution to the problem of leaking fuel tanks at Naval Base Point Loma. In fact, the House Armed Services Committee has already passed legislation authorizing the much needed funds, and she will continue to work in Washington to help appropriate money for repairs as quickly as possible. In addition, Naval Base Point Loma has continued to host regular Navy Community Liaison Group Meetings to update interested constituents on the most recent developments in fuel recovery, as well as the status of the tank replacement project.