Protecting Our Environment

environment-protectionI have been a long-time champion of Lake Erie and the Great Lakes, which provide 20 percent of the world's fresh drinking water and are a huge economic machine for our state. I worked with former Sen. John Glenn to reauthorize the federal law that curbs the menace of invasive species, and served as the long-time chair of the Great Lakes Task Force. I also stopped the EPA from fining recreational boaters up to $32,500 for pollution if they allowed water to slosh over their boat's deck or dumped a cooler of water into the lake. I have been a leader in Great Lakes restoration efforts, including the successful cleanup of Ashtabula Harbor.  I support the Adminstration's Great Lakes Restoration Initiative, a multi-year effort to restore this ecosystem and play a key role in ensuring its funding as a Member of the Interior, Environment and Related Agencies Appropriations Subcommittee.

I also have devoted a great deal of time and effort to conservation efforts and was able to preserve green space and add bike and walking trails in dozens of communities and park systems, including the many county park systems in NE Ohio and Cuyahoga Valley National Park. I support reasonable and achievable clean air and water standards and know how hard my communities work to meet federal guidelines. Complying with the guidelines is very costly and often takes years, and if we're going to make demands we should help defray the costs to communities. I also believe there must be genuine science to warrant tightening of standards, and the associated costs.

As an Ohioan, I am keenly aware of the danger of a massive cap-and-trade bill to reduce carbon emissions. This legislation will be devastating to states like Ohio that are dependent on coal to produce electricity. This will be a job killer like no other, and goes too far too fast. Families make decisions every day about wants and needs, and those decisions are often based on your financial position right now. We cannot afford this now.

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