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Sustainable Energy and Environment Coalition
In the 111th Congress (2009-2010), Rep. Israel and Rep. Jay Inslee of Washington started the Sustainable Energy and Environment Coalition (SEEC). Rep. Israel continues to serve as the co-chair of SEEC in the 112th Congress (2011-2012). This House Caucus has more than 45 members and is leading the way on the House of Representative's clean energy, climate change, and environment agendas. Visit the SEEC website by clicking here.
Long Island Sound
One of Rep. Israel's priorities in Congress has been to preserve and protect Long Island's greatest natural resource - Long Island Sound.
In 2006, Rep. Israel passed the Long Island Sound Stewardship Act, which authorizes funding to identify and protect land along Long Island Sound. In 2005, Rep. Israel helped reauthorize the Long Island Sound Restoration Act, which authorizes funds to improve the water quality of the Sound. The funding amounts for the programs authorized by each law are determined by the Appropriations Committee.
Since its formation 11,000 years ago, Long Island Sound has sustained a diversity of birds, wildlife and marine organisms, including the endangered Piping Plover, while also serving as a recreational magnet for tens of thousands of Americans. Today, more than 8 million people live in the Sound’s watershed with 20 million people living within 50 miles of its shores. The Sound alone contributes more than $5 billion to the regional economy through sport and commercial fishing, recreation and tourism.
Earth Day 2009
On April 22, 2009, Rep. Israel supported the passage of two key environmental bills: The Electronic Device Recycling Research and Development Act (H.R.1580) and the Green Energy Education Act (H.R.957).
The Green Energy Education Act authorizes the Department of Energy to partner with the National Science Foundation (NSF) to provide grants to institutions of higher education for training of engineers and architects in high-performance building design and clean energy.
The Electronic Device Recycling Research and Development Act authorizes the EPA to award grants that will reduce the environmental impact of electronic devices that are thrown away. The grants will also promote the recycling of these devices through R&D projects. This bill also authorizes the EPA to award grants for curriculum development in the areas of recycling electronic devices and enabling environmentally friendly designs.
Rep. Israel supports efforts to address global climate change. On June 26, 2009, Rep. Israel voted in favor of the American Clean Energy and Security Act (H.R. 2454). This legislation will reduce carbon emissions, increase use of renewable fuels, and create new jobs by investing in alternative energy and energy efficiency technologies. For Rep. Israel's letter to constituents about why he supported this legislation, click here. For updates on this bill as it progresses, click here.
Upholding Clean Air and Water Standards
The quality of air and water affects the health and well-being of our families and children. For the past three decades, the Clean Air Act and Clean Water Act has substantially improved air quality and made an increasing number of our nation's waterways swimmable, fishable, and drinkable. Rep. Israel will continue fighting proposals that weaken three decades of successful bipartisan efforts to protect us from harmful levels of pollution.
Protecting the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge
In the 110th Congress, Rep. Israel joined Rep. Markey as a cosponsor of legislation to protect the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge in Alaska from oil exploration, which will not yield enough oil to reduce our dependency on foreign oil, now or in the future. Drilling in ANWR will only threaten a fragile ecosystem that we have already designated for special protection.