I understand the importance of preserving our environment. There is no doubt we must be good stewards of the environmental treasures with which we have been blessed. The welfare of future generations depends on it.
I have been encouraged with the tremendous environmental progress Americans have made over the last few decades. As our economy has continued to grow and standards of living have increased, total emissions of major air pollutants have been cut by half since 1970 and more Americans have access to clean drinking water than ever before.
Many opportunities for improvement remain and we will undoubtedly encounter additional environmental concerns in the future. Flexible and innovative policies that balance environmental concerns, private property rights and economic progress are required by both federal and state legislators to address these concerns effectively.
All federal environmental policies must be based on irrefutable science and not on politics. I have been disappointed in the politicization of several important environmental issues which has degraded the ability for Americans and legislators to make informed decisions. The policies we set as a nation will have a great impact on our lives and our economy and must be made based solely on scientific fact.
I will work to make sure that federal policies are enforced adequately, fairly, and according to the intent of Congress. However, current federal policies that take a one-size-fits-all approach should be thoroughly reviewed by Congress for their impact on consumers, our economy, and the environment. The vast majority of Americans are working to improve our shared environment and should not be subject of onerous and inflexible federal regulation. Instead more aggressive oversight should be reserved for the bad actors in our society.
We must understand the economic well-being of Americans and the well-being of our environment are tied together and policies that do not recognize this fact are neither sustainable nor effective.
Your personal contributions are also necessary to ensure the well-being of our environment. There are numerous ways each of us also can make a difference. Various conservation measures, like driving slower or carpooling, which reduce energy consumption and help keep the environment clean and healthy, will go a long way in determining the future of our environment.
To read the oversight report, "Washed Out to Sea: How Congress Prioritizes Beach Pork Over National Needs", click here.