Some recent decisions by the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) have led me – and many of my colleagues – to question whether we are wisely investing our homeland security resources. A prime example is DHS’s new eligibility guidelines for the Urban Area Security Initiative Grant Program, which resulted in Sacramento being ineligible to apply for this grant.
Despite repeated questioning by me – and my colleagues – DHS has yet to present a rational justification for the new eligibility guidelines. I know our resources are limited and that we need to direct them towards the most at-risk locations. However, it seems there are many things that they didn’t account for or overlooked.
This is why in response to my request the Government Accountability Office will be investigating this grant program. They will examine whether the eligibility guidelines accurately take into account the risks faced by urban areas like Sacramento. For more information on this, click here.
A New Direction
Addressing Global Warming
In the last year we’ve seen sweltering summer heat waves and relentless winter rains that have compromised our levees. These facts underscore the growing consensus that global warming must be confronted with a change in national policy.
To address this, I have co-sponsored the Safe Climate Act to combat the greenhouse gases in our atmosphere that are causing global warming. This legislation represents the tough and balanced strategy we must employ to significantly reduce harmful emissions and bring rising global temperatures under control.
And, as a member of the Science Committee, I am actively working with my colleagues to address this urgent issue. For more information about this legislation and my work to address global warming, please read my most recent e*newsletter by clicking here.
We must stand up to the dangers that global warming poses to our quality of life, as well as to the quality of life of future generations and this essential legislation is an important first step. Clearly, the time has come for our country to move in a new direction on global warming.
A New Direction
With gas prices continuing to climb and the pipeline shutdown at Prudhoe Bay, I recently joined with SMUD and Sacramento RT's to highlight their efforts to use energy efficient and alternative energy vehicles as examples of ventures the federal government should support and encourage, along with the need to invest in renewable energy research and development. Click here to read more about these initiatives.
Congress needs to do more to support Sacramento’s leadership – inititatives like those of SMUD and RT – and encourage other states and localities to follow Sacramento’s lead. It is long past time for the federal government to make an unprecedented commitment and direct the necessary resources toward the goal of attaining energy independence. We need to modernize our nation’s energy policy, increasing energy efficiency and moving towards a greater use of renewable and alternative energy sources.
In the meantime, we need to eliminate the subsidies and loopholes that provide billions for oil companies. These companies report record profits – they don’t need any help from American taxpayers. Instead, these resources should go to working families to help cushion the economic impact of high energy prices.
Achieving energy independence will not happen overnight. It will require a long-term sustained effort of the government, businesses and families. But it is a challenge worthy of such a commitment.