Energy and Environment

Energy and Environment

“There is no issue more critical to the future of our world and community than protecting the environment and ensuring that we are investing in clean and renewable energy. As a Member of Congress, as an American, and as a father, I feel a keen sense of obligation to care for our environment and the other creatures that share the Earth with us, and invest in the future by adopting an Apollo Project-like effort to transition us from fossil fuels. As President Theodore Roosevelt said, ‘The nation behaves well if it treats the natural resources as assets which it must turn over to the next generation increased, and not impaired, in value.”

– Rep. Adam Schiff

Fighting Against the Effects of Climate Change

Rep. Adam Schiff believes that human activities contributing to climate change is a scientifically proven phenomenon with immense consequences for our environment, food supply, global economy and national security. Schiff supports measures to reduce our dependence on fossil fuels which pollute our environment and release greenhouse gasses into the atmosphere. Schiff has also been a strong supporter of proven methods to reduce the effects of climate change and air pollution. For many years, he has urged that we adopt an Apollo Project-like effort to transition to renewable energy, with the same dedication and determination as it took to land on the moon. He has supported boosting funding for geothermal and solar energy, and has also supported efforts to require utilities to produce 15% of their energy from renewable sources by 2020. He has also opposed efforts to strip the Environmental Protection Agency of its authority to regulate air pollution, which would harm countless families across the country, and particularly those in large urban areas like Los Angeles, that suffer from the terrible effects of air pollution.

Supporting Renewable Energy

Rep. Adam Schiff continues to fight to keep the renewable energy industry growing in America, and particularly in California, by supporting tax credits and loan guarantees for renewable energy research and development at the Department of Energy that will provide new avenues to affordable and homegrown green energy. Schiff strongly opposes opening up the California coast to drilling and has consistently voted against legislation that would allow drilling off the coast of California and make drilling safety regulations weaker than even before the 2010 Deepwater Horizon disaster in the Gulf Coast.

Schiff believes that the best way to keep energy prices low and decrease our reliance on foreign countries for fuel is to invest in alternative energy and fuel efficiency technologies. He has advocated for increased fuel economy standards for many years, and is working to strengthen programs to provide loan guarantees for the manufacturing of advanced technology vehicles here in the U.S. New technological innovations saving Americans money at the pump and reducing greenhouse gas emissions are on the horizon. Schiff believes that we need to seize the opportunity to ensure that those developments and high-tech manufacturing jobs become a reality first here, in America. By marshalling America’s great strengths—our innovativeness, our technological prowess, and our entrepreneurial spirit—to develop these technologies, Schiff believes that we can better secure our nation, protect the environment, and become the world leader in a cutting-edge industry.

Protecting Wilderness Lands and Preserving Endangered Wildlife

Rep. Adam Schiff believes that wilderness lands, including the Southern California foothills, are treasures that we must continually work to preserve for our children and our children’s children to enjoy. To that end, he has supported many efforts to preserve wilderness lands across the country. In Southern California, specifically, Schiff introduced and passed the landmark Rim of the Valley Corridor Study Act, legislation that commissioned a study on the feasibility of expanding the Santa Monica Mountains National Recreation Area to include the mountains and canyons in the Rim of the Valley Corridor. The Corridor consists of parts of the Santa Monica Mountains, Santa Susanna Mountains, San Gabriel Mountains, Verdugo Mountains, San Rafael Hills, and adjacent connector areas to the Los Padres and San Bernardino National Forests—in essence many of the hills and mountains surrounding Burbank, Glendale, and other communities in our area.

The bill authorizing the study passed in 2008, and the study by the National Park Service began in 2010. On February 16, 2016, the Park Service released its final recommendation, which can be viewed here. A Google Map overlay of the Park Service’s recommendation can be viewed here. Congressman Schiff is working with the Park Service, members of the community, and interested stakeholders to develop and introduce the legislation to preserve and protect this area for future generations

Restoring the Los Angeles River

Restoring the Los Angeles River has long been one of Rep. Adam Schiff’s priorities, and he has worked extensively with the City of Los Angeles and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers urging them to develop a plan to revitalize the Los Angeles River. Rehabilitating the Los Angeles River would allow for a continuous, functioning ecosystem along the river corridor that could support birds, mammals and fish. A system of pathways and overlooks would be created to provide public access, along with bicycle and pedestrian connections to green space. The project would also create space for families and communities to congregate, as well as much-needed jobs in the hard-hit construction industry.

Schiff has used his seat on the House Appropriations Committee to secure strong funding for programs to complete the U.S. Corp of Army Engineers study, so the project can finally proceed to the construction phase. He has also supported successful efforts for the Los Angeles River to be recognized as an America’s Great Outdoors (AGO) project and appeared along with Secretary of the Interior Ken Salazar to celebrate this designation. This designation will help bring federal agencies together along with community members to preserve the Los Angeles River for future generations to enjoy. In May of 2014, it was announced that the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and Assistant Army Secretary for Civil Works Jo-Ellen Darcy came to an agreement with the city of Los Angeles to recommend approval of a $1 billion proposal to restore the habitat, widen the river, create wetlands, and provide access points that will restore the Los Angeles River.

Building Out a Full West Coast Earthquake Early Warning System

Rep. Adam Schiff believes that it is critical the U.S. maintains its vigilance and expertise in earthquake research. Over the years, he has become a leader on this issue and a strong supporter of the Earthquake Early Warning System that has been in development by the U.S. Geological Survey, Caltech, UC Berkeley, and other west coast universities. Such an early warning system would be enormously helpful in providing residents and first responders with advanced notice that could help avert major infrastructure damage by shutting down mechanical systems like mass transit and elevators, as well as reducing injuries and saving lives in the event of a major earthquake.

Since 2012, Schiff has been leading his colleagues in Congress in urging both the Office of Management and Budget and his fellow Appropriations Committee members to support funding for the Earthquake Hazards Program, and specifically, the Earthquake Early Warning system. In April of 2014, Schiff, with the support of 25 other Members of Congress, urged the Appropriations Committee to fully fund this Earthquake Early Warning System. In response, both the House and Senate Interior Appropriations bills for FY2015 included $5 million in funding for the Earthquake Early Warning System for the first time. After this success, support for the system has grown in Congress, and the system received $8.2 million in the FY2016 Appropriations bill. Rep. Schiff continues to push for continued strong funding to build out this system to protect infrastructure and those living and doing business on the West Coast from preventable injuries and damage when the next large quake hits.

Protecting from Harmful Chromium 6 in Our Drinking Water

Rep. Adam Schiff has long been committed to protecting Southern Californians and Americans from the harmful Chromium 6 compound. In 2010, we learned that past practices of the aerospace industry in Southern California had exposed millions of Southern Californians to Chromium 6 through their drinking water. In 2001, Schiff requested a National Toxicology Program study to determine whether Chromium 6 can cause cancer when ingested through drinking water from the tap. The conclusion of that study—considered the gold standard in the scientific community—was that Chromium 6 was indeed carcinogenic. According to a 2010 draft, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Chromium 6 toxicology assessment has proposed classifying Chromium 6 as likely to cause cancer in humans when ingested over a lifetime.

It is undoubtedly clear that Chromium 6 is dangerous to health when consumed via drinking water, but there are no current federal drinking water standards for Chromium 6, and the EPA has failed to act expeditiously to set a national drinking water regulation to protect American families from this harmful compound. In February of 2012, the EPA announced that it was delaying the updating of national drinking water standards by three years. Some local water agencies have shown that they may not take the steps necessary to protect millions of children and families across the country from the harmful effects of Chromium 6 if the EPA does not take action to establish new national drinking water standards first. Schiff has since expressed his disappointment to the EPA regarding the delay in providing its report and stressed the importance of this matter for the sake of public health, and he is continuing to push the EPA for action.