I was encouraged to see President Bush finally acknowledge the serious problem of global climate change, or global warming.  Unfortunately, his proposals do not go far enough.  Congress will embrace his ideas and fold them into broader and more aggressive plan to combat the rise of greenhouse gases in our apmosphere.

As Chairman of the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee I can have an impact on the issue of global warming and energy policy by encouraging the growth of public transit.  This takes cars off the road, reducing both greenhouse gas emissions and our dependence on foreign oil.

Transit is the fastest growing sector of the transportation in America. We are adding 1 million new transit riders a day last year, for 375 million new transit trips, for 10.5 billion transit trips in America. At a time in the 1960s, 1970s, and 1980s, New York accounted for over 60 percent of all transit trips in America. No longer. New York's share is down somewhere around 39 percent because the rest of the Nation is catching up and accelerating its use of transit.

In fact, if we could, as is done in Europe, have a mode shift of 10 percent of all trips taken for all purposes by transit, in America we would save 550 million barrels of oil a year, and that is the amount we import from Saudi Arabia.

We must act now.  Our artic ice is melting at an alarming rate causing habitat for polar bears to disappear.  This influx of fresh water in our oceans could disrupt the currents of our oceans that regulate our weather patterns.  We are at a critical juncture in history and Congress must show leadership and vision.