Rick Lazio on Environment

Develop alternative energy & a new energy policy

Q: Do you support conserving energy?

LAZIO: We need to develop a comprehensive energy strategy. Energy Secretary Richardson said we were napping. There was no strategy to develop alternative energy sources. There was no strategy to ask the allies that we went to bat for in Kuwait and Saudi Arabia to boost their oil production. We need to drive down the price of energy. That will help create a more favorable business climate throughout New York.

Source: Senate debate in Manhattan Oct 8, 2000

Clean up toxic areas with new Superfund legislation

Q: What will you do for those in danger from toxic dumping?

A: As a strong environmentalist, as somebody who has written legislation to address acid rain in the Adirondacks and the clean-up of Long Island Sound, as somebody who cares about the watershed and as somebody who cares about this issue, I believe it’s incredibly important for us to re-authorize Superfund legislation to make sure that we have the resources that are necessary to clean up some of these sites.

Source: Clinton-Lazio debate, Buffalo NY Sep 13, 2000

Support EPA and CWA; but allow drilling in ANWR

On Environment. Lazio voted against Republican bills to relax clean water regulations, strip the Environmental Protection Agency of enforcement power and help developers get zoning changes over the objection of environmentalists. (On the other hand, the Republican budget he supported in 1995 included many items opposed by environmentalists, including one that would have allowed oil drilling in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge.)
Source: David Rosenbaum, New York Times Jun 4, 2000

Balance prosperity and conservation

The environment that surrounds us is one of our greatest assets as a nation but and also one of our gravest responsibilities. I believe that one of the most important legacies that I can leave for my children and the future generations of our great republic is the preservation of that resource. The balance of prosperity and conservation is at best difficult and always controversial in a nation that was built on the premise of unfettered rights of the individual.
Source: Issues Briefing, May 4, 2000

Require reduced sulfur emissions from gasoline

The sulfur in gasoline poisons a car’s emissions control equipment, making it less effective in cutting harmful air pollutants like carbon monoxide, hydrocarbons, and nitrogen oxides. In other words, the catalytic converters we all paid for when we bought our cars and trucks are being ruined through no fault of our own. This is because the amount of sulfur in the US gasoline supply is very high, averaging around 345 parts per million. By comparison, gasoline in Japan & Europe averages about 30 parts per million. Lazio [sponsored] a bill requiring a 30 parts per million average for the nation’s gasoline supply. Implementing this requirement would result in the equivalent of removing the emissions of 54 million cars.

Since this bill was introduced, BP Amoco announced a pilot program selling low sulfur fuels in their premium grade in Chicago and Atlanta. The company plans to begin marketing them in Chicago by spring 2001 and the prices will be equivalent to conventional gas prices.

Source: Issues Briefing, May 4, 2000

Allow experimenting for voluntary greenhouse gas reductions

Arguing that the current regulatory situation actually does more to discourage action than to promote environmentally-conscious activity on the important issue of global climate change, Congressman Lazio introduced legislation designed to encourage voluntary actions by industry to reduce the potential environmental problems caused by greenhouse gas emissions. Lazio’s ‘‘Credit for Voluntary Actions’‘ bill, H.R. 2520, sets up a voluntary program that allows a broad spectrum of U.S. businesses to participate in ways that make fiscal sense for them. It does not create a regulatory program or encourage buying into any international agreements. It simply authorizes companies to reduce greenhouse gases without fear of punishment later.

This bill represents a ‘‘New Environmentalism’‘ where environmental regulation will no longer be a zero-sum game. This legislation successfully combines the interests of both industry and environmental groups in a way that is mutually beneficial and unprecedented.

Source: Issues Briefing, May 4, 2000

End “Mountain Top Removal” mining practice

Lazio led the charge against the so-called “Mountain Top Removal” mining practice. With this practice, West Virginia coal mining companies are blowing up the tops of the mountains and pushing the rubble into valley bottoms, thus polluting the mountain streams. Although this is a clear violation of the Clean Water Act and the Surface Mining Control and Reclamation Act, Senator Byrd and others tried to attach a rider to last year’s appropriations bills to authorize this destructive practice. Arguing that opposing anti-environmental riders should apply regardless of whether their party affiliation, Lazio convinced the White House to oppose the rider. When Lazio learned that elements within the EPA were trying to rewrite the regulations to allow this practice, he organized a coalition which warned the administration against doing administratively what they had opposed legislatively.
Source: Issues Briefing, May 4, 2000

More emission controls; more air & water standards

Source: National Political Awareness Test 1998 ( Jul 2, 1998

More grazing & mining fees; promote pollution credits

Source: National Political Awareness Test 1998 ( Jul 2, 1998

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