Energy & Environment

Federal oversight needed to address cruel, corrupt treatment of horses

Horses hold an iconic place in our nation’s history. Without Paul Revere’s trusty steed, Brown Betty, the colonists in New England might have never known of the British forces’ late night advance toward Lexington. As American settlers moved west to the Pacific, horses pulled covered wagons and plowed fields on new homesteads. Horses accompanied many of our military commanders into battle, and horses still carry our fallen soldiers to their final resting places at Arlington National Cemetery. 

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Protecting animals: A humane and bipartisan effort

Many important and urgent matters come before the U.S. Senate. But beyond those mega-issues — our budget woes, energy independence, national security concerns — other very important issues often fly under the radar. One of those issues is the well-being of animals.

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Ending experimentation on chimpanzees is right choice

As a scientist who used primates as subjects in life-saving research for America’s military pilots and astronauts as well as the only member of Congress with a doctorate in human physiology, I can assure you that spending more taxpayer money on invasive research on chimpanzees is both scientifically and fiscally unnecessary. That is the reason I introduced the Great Ape Protection and Cost Savings Act (H.R. 1513/S. 810), which already has more than 175 bipartisan co-sponsors in the House and Senate. 

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Saving our horses from slaughter

Below the West Front of the U.S. Capitol is one of our nation’s most famous statues honoring Civil War Gen. and former President Ulysses S. Grant. In front of the White House is former President Andrew Jackson, and in D.C.’s historic Foggy Bottom area is former President George Washington. Carved into the stone with these famous riders are the horses that carried them into battle.

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Make egg production more humane

In the United States there are 280 million egg-laying hens producing more than 80 billion table eggs annually. Eggs are a national commodity. For economic and regulatory security, our egg farmers need one national standard to bring order to the patchwork of state laws currently providing uneven rules for farmers producing this national commodity. 

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Clean coal has a role in our energy future

Natural gas prices recently plunged to their lowest level in more than a decade. Short-term, that’s good news for consumers and industry seeking respite from high energy prices. Long-term, belief in any single fuel source as America’s energy salvation undermines prudent public policy that encourages a diverse energy portfolio, including clean fuels and renewables.  We need an all-of-the-above approach supported by President Obama and Mitt Romney to meet our energy needs and reduce our dependence on foreign oil.

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Energy policy should not be about playing favorites

Nicholas Longworth served as Speaker of the U.S. House of Representatives from 1925 to 1931. Longworth was known as a skilled compromiser, but he was in fact also an astute student of capitalism and the free market. In describing the “capitalistic system,” he captured the essence of government’s role as being that of an “umpire” to ensure fairness; not to “come down and take the bat” for one team. 

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Keystone has no place in Transportation Bill

Right now, a congressional conference committee is attempting to reconcile transportation bills passed by the Senate and the House of Representatives that could upgrade our crumbling infrastructure, save 1.9 million jobs, and create 1 million more. However, the bill remains in negotiations. House Republicans haven’t been able to reach an agreement on their own transportation bill –voting instead to temporarily extend the current one. They’re now bringing the same tactics that caused the House version to fail to the conference committee, complicating negotiations with extraneous issues, such as the Keystone XL tar sands pipeline. This contentious add-on needlessly burdens negotiations and passage of the bill, but also reveals the depth of the Republican’s Keystone XL obsession.

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EPA's rules for new coal plants strike right balance

Colorado’s natural beauty draws visitors from around the world. Every day, we see the clear connection between the health of our citizens, the health of our environment, and the health of our economy. Unfortunately, national public debate is often dominated by the claim that we must choose between a clean environment and economic prosperity -- the idea being that protecting our environment will jeopardize U.S. businesses and job creation. Well, this simply isn’t true.
 
The EPA’s recently proposed carbon pollution standard shows how the correct balance can be struck. The new rule won’t just limit dangerous industrial carbon pollution from new power plants, it will encourage a market-based transition to a clean-energy economy, one that boosts investment and creates jobs nationwide.

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Weakening enforcement of energy-efficient lighting is a losing strategy

As the House again proposes barring enforcement of the current energy efficiency standards for lighting products, it puts American manufacturers and the public at risk of wasting money and losing jobs, while also tacitly encouraging the illegal import of noncompliant, energy-hogging products.
 
The law to phase in energy-saving lighting options, enacted in 2007, began taking effect this past January with standards requiring a minimum 27% increase in the efficiency of 100-watt bulbs. In the process of investing millions of dollars in producing a variety of such bulbs, American manufacturers have also been creating jobs for their design and production in Ohio, North Carolina, Pennsylvania, California and other states.

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