Energy and the Environment
Senator Lautenberg is a well-known and proven champion for our environment. He has consistently been an effective leader and advocate for the Jersey shore and passed vital laws that have made our air, water and land dramatically cleaner. He is also a strong advocate for a clean energy future, reducing carbon pollution and putting a priority on renewable energy from solar, wind, geothermal and other sources. Senator Lautenberg is well-positioned to continue to lead our country into a green future of energy independence as a member of the Senate Environment and Public Works and Appropriations Committees.
Keeping Our Families Safe from Toxic Chemicals
As the Chairman of the Senate Subcommittee with jurisdiction over the regulation of toxic chemicals, Senator Lautenberg has held hearings and introduced legislation to put the burden on chemical companies to provide data to the EPA so that Americans can be assured the chemicals they are exposed to safe before they are sold and used throughout the country. The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) recently released principles for reform that closely parallel Senator Lautenberg’s legislation.
Keeping Our Oceans and Waterways Clean
Many in New Jersey share Senator Lautenberg’s love for the Jersey shore – and it is critical that we protect our ocean and waterways for both recreation and our economy. That’ s why Senator Lautenberg wrote the BEACH Act, a law to improve water quality monitoring standards and make sure the public is informed about any problems at the beach. He worked to ban ocean dumping of sewage and plastics, and changed federal laws to get companies to use stronger “double-hulled tankers” to prevent oil spills. Further, he has been a leader in the Senate in protecting against the threat of ocean acidification, writing a law to require the federal government to improve coordination and research to fight this threat to fish and coral in the sea.
Keeping Our Air and Drinking Water Clean and Combating Toxic Waste
Senator Lautenberg wrote the Toxic Right to Know Law to make sure local communities are given information about harmful toxins that chemical facilities are releasing into the air. Senator Lautenberg has led efforts to improve oversight and standards for both tap and bottled water, and to keep dangerous toxins out of our groundwater. He has secured hundreds of millions of dollars in federal money to keep New Jersey’s drinking water safe.
Senator Lautenberg has also brought in more than $1 billion in federal clean up aid to New Jersey. He has championed Superfund, a program to clean up toxic sites, while demanding that polluters pay to clean up spills caused by their industry. Senator Lautenberg also wrote the law to fund programs to clean up and revitalize old industrial facilities and dumpsites into new businesses, parks and open space.
Fighting Global Warming
Senator Lautenberg is a leading voice in Congress to address climate change by cutting carbon pollution and creating a new clean energy economy. As the cosponsor of the only global warming legislation to pass through a Senate committee, he is demanding that legislation match the call of science by reducing greenhouse gas emissions 20 percent below 2005 levels by 2020. He is also pushing for more investment in research and development to discover the clean technologies of the future and in smarter transportation options, including mass transit and passenger rail.
Renewable and Alternative Energy Sources
Senator Lautenberg knows that in order to cut carbon pollution and reduce our nation’s dependence on oil, we must continue to create and expand alternative energy sources. He has been a champion for extending crucial tax credits and incentives that help consumers and businesses install and utilize energy from solar, wind, geothermal and other renewable sources. This not only will help reduce utility bills, but it will reduce the need to burn coal and other fossil fuels that contribute to global warming.
Increasing Energy Efficiency In Vehicles
To combat rising gas prices and rising greenhouse gas emissions from vehicles, Senator Lautenberg coauthored a 2007 law to increase the fuel efficiency of our cars and trucks so that they can travel further on less gas. This will not only save Americans millions of dollars, but it will reduce our dependence on oil. These fuel efficiency standards – known as “CAFE" standards – had not been increased in decades, and Senator Lautenberg stood strong over the objections of industry to help champion this law to help consumers and pave the way for new technologies. Senator Lautenberg has also been the leading champion on improving mass transit and passenger rail, to offer a cleaner, more fuel-efficient travel option.
Greening Our BuildingsSenator Lautenberg’s legislation to turn our nation’s buildings “green” recently became law. This law will improve the energy efficiency, indoor air quality and environmental impact of our nation’s federal buildings and provide a blueprint for all non-federal buildings to follow. Buildings are responsible for a third of our nation’s greenhouse gases, and the U.S. government is the largest “landlord” in the country. By making the federal government’s new and retrofitted buildings meet more energy-efficient, “green” standards, the federal government can make a significant dent in the energy consumption of our country, considering that the average green building uses about one-third less energy than a conventional building. This law also provides grants to schools to improve their air quality and energy efficiency.