Energy & Environment
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America’s energy future holds great potential for job creation, a cleaner world and greater independence from foreign influence.  To secure these gains for the next generation, however, we have tremendous work ahead.

American homes and businesses place ever growing demands on an aging grid system, while prices at the pump place a burden on American families.  Increased demand and competition from countries like China are driving increased prices for oil and other resources while ongoing conflicts in the Middle East continue to add instability to the energy market. 

At the same time, America holds many advantages.  New sources of fossil fuel are coming online, and we continue to make significant investments in the infrastructure necessary to make green energy a larger part of the solution.  In addition, new technology is leading to advancements in energy conservation and “smart” grids that offer new ways to reduce consumption while meeting demand.

To meet the current needs of American families and businesses, I support additional energy exploration including projects like the Keystone-XL pipeline when they are carried out thoughtfully and with sound science that works to protect the environment as well as the economy.  I have voted to expedite the expansion of responsible offshore drilling and believe these activities can be done with accountability and to the benefit of all Americans.  Through these efforts, recent estimates from the International Energy Agency and private industry note that America could well become a net exporter of oil and potentially the largest oil producer in the world.  An “all-of-the-above” strategy includes everything from natural gas to nuclear energy, as well as green energies like biomass, solar, hydropower and wind, which will be necessary to continue America’s economic growth in the near term. 

This does not come without challenges. The issue of hydraulic fracturing has appeared at the center of local energy debates throughout our community.   Because we live in a state with varying needs and concerns, I believe local communities must have a strong voice in the process before any new natural gas development can take place. I have long said that home rule should be applied to the issue so local municipalities can review and decide what types of development, if any, make sense for their own communities. That’s why I have supported calls for greater transparency from the industry in the chemicals they use and more opportunity for local input on the issue.

In the long term, America’s energy challenges present great opportunity to create jobs and grow New York’s economy.  America has always been a place of unmatched innovation, and I firmly believe that we can and will be the driving force in the years ahead on everything from grid improvement to energy storage to fuel efficiency. That is why I stand behind efforts to support and develop domestic green energy solutions, like homegrown biomass right here in New York State.  I understand, however, that green energy often comes with local concerns as well. While I support these programs broadly, I have always believed that siting decisions need to be made at the local level, with a requirement for proven local support before a power project like wind energy could be seriously considered.  To that end, I oppose the Article X law that rests siting decisions at the state level.

Ultimately, I believe the movement from fossil fuels to clean energy will help us address growing concerns that carbon, mercury, and other emissions are harming the environment. Despite the ongoing debate over global climate change, objective science is clear that allowing increased emissions from traditional fuel sources will have long term implications not only for public health, but also for the environmental resources that New York’s robust tourism industry relies on.  Small businesses in the region depend on a clean environment to encourage the hunting, fishing, skiing, and other outdoor activities that bring visitors to the region and for which the Adirondacks are known around the world.  Through an investment in sound science that leads the region to a cleaner and energy-independent future, we will decrease the threat of global warming and protect thousands of jobs in New York’s vital tourism industry.

This Congress I have co-sponsored legislation to keep more U.S. oil here by requiring that oil drilled on taxpayer-owned property stay in the United States to drive down costs for middle class families.  Likewise, I support robust oversight of Wall Street to prevent speculation that drives up prices while protecting the responsible market activities that help farmers, public utilities, airlines and similar businesses insulate themselves from sudden spikes in the price of fuel. 

New York is already leading the way on nuclear power and green energy, with significant investments in solar, wind, biomass and other renewable fuels.  As a Member of Congress, I will continue to support these initiatives and work with local leaders to develop an energy plan that benefits New York communities.

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