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I have long championed a cleaner, healthier environment for New Yorkers and the American people.  I serve as a senior member of the House Energy and Commerce Committee, and as co-Chair of the Oil and National Security Caucus.  

I have a 100% conservation voting record from the Defenders of Wildlife Action Fund, and a 92% lifetime pro-environment voting record from the League of Conservation Voters for my votes on issues ranging from protecting the Clean Air and Clean Water Acts, Superfund, land preservation, nuclear waste cleanup, boosting energy efficiency, responding to the oil spill disaster in the Gulf, and funding for enforcement of environmental laws.

Clean Water and Clean Air

I have long championed the Clean Air and Clean Water Acts, and I support strong rules designed to protect the air we breathe and the water we drink. 

I vigorously oppose efforts by Republicans in Congress to undercut the Environmental Protection Agency and turn back the clock to a time when corporations could pollute unchecked. 


Superstorm Sandy demonstrated for us just how devastating the damage from flooding can be to our communities.

In Washington, the Republican-controlled House has made cutting the Army Corps of Engineers budget a priority.  A major function of the Corps is flood control.  When you only think about of the cost of programs and not their value, people in desperate need of help are left to fend for themselves. We are Americans together, even when it costs money to help.

I will continue fighting to implement and preserve flood control projects which are vital to our homes and our businesses throughout the region.


Among the threats to the New York City watershed is hydraulic fracturing, or fracking, which is a process used in almost all oil and natural gas drilling. This process includes using fluids which contain toxic chemicals and are injected at high pressure into underground rock formations. 

I am an original cosponsor of the Fracturing Responsibility and Awareness of Chemicals (FRAC) Act to regulate the practice of hydraulic fracturing and to protect the quality of New York City’s water supply system.

I have also worked to maintain high standards for New York’s drinking water by authorizing and obtaining significant funding for the New York City Watershed Protection Program. 

The Highlands

The Highlands region contains 3.5 million acres of high priority conservation land in four states – Connecticut, New Jersey, New York, and Pennsylvania – which provides critical habitat for 150 animal species of special concern, provides recreational opportunities to more than 15 million people annually, and produces drinking water for over 20 million people.

I was an original cosponsor of the Highlands Conservation Act that was signed into law in 2004.

Since being signed into law, the Highlands Conservation Act has protected more than 5,000 acres of critical land in the Highlands region.  The federal government has provided $14.25 million under the act, which has been matched on more than a 2:1 ratio by non-federal funds.

The Hudson River

The United States Coast Guard is considering establishing new anchorage grounds for large commercial barges at 10 sites along the Hudson River, including one that covers 715 acres running from JFK Marina Park north to Dobbs Ferry.  

I filed two sets of comments with the Coast Guard explaining how their proposal could have wide-ranging impacts on virtually every aspect of life along the Hudson, including economic development, environmental protection, and the safety and security of residents throughout the region. I specifically highlighted the proposal’s potential to imperil the great strides that communities like Yonkers and Hastings-on-Hudson have made to remediate and redevelop their waterfronts. 

I also wrote a letter with our two Senators and two other Members of Congress asking the Coast Guard to extend the public comment period for an additional 90 days; the Coast Guard agreed and extended the comment period. 

Finally, I led a request signed by my two House colleagues asking the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) to comment on the proposal’s potential impacts on two federally endangered species in the Hudson River.  NOAA heeded our call and shared details on endangered species and their critical habitat in the Hudson, concluding that the Coast Guard’s action is likely to trigger heightened review under the Endangered Species Act. 

Please know that I will continue working to protect the fragile health and beauty of our precious river by opposing this ill-advised plan. 

Long Island Sound

As a member of the bipartisan Long Island Sound Caucus, I am helping to champion the efforts to conserve and safeguard this great source of beauty, pleasure and livelihood. Economically, the Long Island Sound contributes between $17 billion and $37 billion annually to the surrounding regions through tourism, sport and commercial fishing. The Caucus works to secure funding to control pollution runoff, upgrade sewage treatment plants, protect plants and animals, and restore habitat.

National Parks

I am pleased to report that I received a perfect 100% score from the National Parks Action Fund for my voting record during this past session. The scored votes include issues such as clean air, clean water, wildlife protections, funding levels, and considerations vital to preserving new land for protection.

I believe that our national parks are among our greatest treasures.  The United States is blessed with some of the most incredible natural beauty on the planet, and we as Americans are very fortunate to have access to this beauty each and every day.

Superstorm Sandy

I have been a leader in fighting against attempts to divert billions in Superstorm Sandy aid funds from Westchester and New York City to other areas.  After Sandy, I worked to pass the Disaster Relief Appropriations Act that provided funds to restore beaches and wetlands, and make repairs to Amtrak and Metro North.

Long Island Sound

I am working to conserve and safeguard the Long Island Sound. 

I am a member of the Long Island Sound Caucus, and an original cosponsor of the Long Island Sound Restoration and Stewardship Act, both of which seek to secure funding to control pollution runoff, upgrade sewage treatment plants, protect plants and animals, and restore habitat for this great source of beauty, pleasure and livelihood.