Bill Richardson on Environment
Democratic Governor (NM); Secretary of Commerce-Designee
On renewable energy, we lead by example, having nearly tripled our usage of wind- powered electricity over the last six years. But each year our current electrical grid loses over one hundred megawatts of power through inefficiency and out-of-date technology.
I propose we lead the nation in the construction of a Green Grid to harness the power of solar and wind, and use smart electronics to deliver energy to consumers cheaper and more efficiently. The Green Grid will also help us tackle the toughest environmental challenge we face--climate change.
Places like London, Amsterdam, Copenhagen and Paris have wet winters, like many of our cities. Yet people bike and are happy about it. There are bike lanes so riders don’t have to worry about car conflicts. There are huge bike parking lots near train stations and commercial centers. This kind of investment makes tremendous long-term sense. I won’t accept the shibboleth that Americans won’t ride their bikes to work. If they could do so safely and conveniently, many would commute by bicycle regularly.
A: Well, there was politics. All of a sudden, other states that had the similar devastation got better treatment, like Mississippi. This is what I would do. The response of our government to Katrina, before, during and after, was inexcusable. We have got to eliminate in the future any red tape that helps the devastation. Secondly, we have to let those that live there to come back first, instead of big moneyed interests. We have to stop the predatory lending of insurance companies, housing and many others that are ripping off the people. And then, finally, we have to make sure that a president cares--and doesn’t just pose for photo ops, but makes a difference and a commitment to rebuild that city and that region.
DODD: I would as well. New Orleans and Katrina have become a symbol of everything that went wrong with this administration’s failure to respond to a people in need.
CLINTON: I have proposed a 10-point Gulf Coast Recovery Agenda, because even if we were to give people a right, there is nothing to return to.
RICHARDSON: Yes, I would support that. I would also support the Katrina Recovery Act. This has been the most disgraceful episode in an American response to help our own people. What we need to do in this country is not just atone for a miserable performance before, during and after Katrina, but for the future [by reforming FEMA & federal emergency loan rules]. We also need to say to the insurance companies: You have to insure these people and rebuild homes in Louisiana.
EDWARDS: This is an issue I care about personally & deeply.
Amends the Safe Drinking Water Act (SDWA) to publish a proposed list of at least 15 contaminants that may occur in public water systems and that are not currently subject to EPA regulation. Provides for proposed lists of at least 12 additional contaminants every four years. (Current law requires EPA to regulate 25 contaminants every three years.) Bases the determination to regulate a contaminant on findings that:
National Forest Health Act: To declare that a forest health emergency exists on Federal lands under their jurisdiction; to carry out accelerated forest health improvement programs to prevent further forest damage and reduce the risk of disaster wildfires on these lands; and to implement management strategies designed to produce sustained, diverse, and healthy forest ecosystems on these lands. The Congress finds the following:
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