Energy, Environment and Public Lands

environment.jpgThe issue of Energy, Environment and Public Lands affects all of us and dealing with it is an important part of my work in Congress.

Where I Stand

I believe we must balance the needs of a healthy environment with the needs of a vibrant economy.  In recent years the federal government has in too many instances veered away from common-sense environmental protection and instead pursued an ideological agenda.  These policies destroy jobs and do little, if anything, to help the people, wildlife or plants they purport to protect.

In Eastern North Carolina, we’ve seen these short sighted policies on many levels, including: excessive restrictions on visitor access at Cape Hatteras National Seashore, a laundry list of unnecessary fishing regulations, and regulatory vetoes of essential infrastructure projects such as jetties at Oregon Inlet and replacement of Bonner Bridge.

On the national level, similarly unnecessarily restrictive policies are increasing the cost of energy for all of us, and particularly on those who can least afford it.  They also encourage businesses to relocate overseas.  The reality is that the American economy depends on low-cost energy. We ought to be getting as much of that energy as possible from right here at home, instead of depending on foreign entities in the Middle East and elsewhere that don’t have our best interests in mind.  As a result, I am a strong supporter of efforts to open up areas such as Alaska’s Arctic to new oil and gas development, as well as immediately starting construction on the Keystone XL pipeline.

Legislative Action in the 112th Congress

Sponsored and Cosponsored Bills

H.R. 4094 – Preserving Access to Cape Hatteras National Seashore Recreational Area Act – To authorize pedestrian and motorized vehicular access in Cape Hatteras National Seashore Recreational Area

H.R. 49 – American Energy Independence and Price Reduction Act – To direct the Secretary of the Interior to establish and implement a competitive oil and gas leasing program that will result in an environmentally sound program for the exploration, development, and production of the oil and gas resources of the Coastal Plain of Alaska

H.R. 457 – To amend the Federal Water Pollution Control Act to remove the Administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency’s authority to disapprove after a permit has been issued by the Secretary of the Army under section 404 of such Act

H.R. 517 – To amend the Federal Water Pollution Control Act to eliminate the authority of the Administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency to deny or restrict the use of a defined area as a dredged or fill material disposal site

H.R. 750 – Defending America’s Affordable Energy and Jobs Act – To preempt regulation of, action relating to, or consideration of greenhouse gases under Federal and common law on enactment of a Federal policy to mitigate climate change

H.R. 1558 – To amend the Toxic Substances Control Act to clarify the jurisdiction of the Environmental Protection Agency with respect to certain sporting good articles, and to exempt those articles from a definition under that Act

H.R. 1719 – Endangered Species Compliance and Transparency Act – To better inform consumers regarding costs associated with compliance for protecting endangered and threatened species under the Endangered Species Act

H.R. 2250 – EPA Regulatory Relief Act To provide additional time for the Administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency to issue achievable standards for industrial, commercial, and institutional boilers, process heaters, and incinerators

H.R. 2997 – Superfund Commonsense Act – To amend the Federal Water Pollution Control Act to eliminate the authority of the Administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency to deny or restrict the use of a defined area as a dredged or fill material disposal site

H.R. 3009 – National Wildlife Refuge Review Act – To amend the National Wildlife Refuge System Administration Act of 1966 to require that any new national wildlife refuge may not be established except as expressly authorized by statute.

H.R. 3074 – Cormorant Management and Natural Resources Protection Act – To amend the Migratory Bird Treaty Act to delegate to States the authorities of the Secretary of the Interior under that Act with respect to cormorants