The issue of Energy is important to our district and to my work in Congress.
The deadly Japanese earthquake and tsunami and subsequent nuclear crisis at the Fukushima Daiichi complex made us take a closer look at our own nuclear power industry. Illinois operates eleven nuclear reactors at six different plants, more than any other state in the nation. I toured the Dresden II plant recently and was assured that extra backup safety measures both on the plant site and away from it have been updated. I continue to express concern over the management and storage of nuclear waste. I have also expressed concern over the inspection process and whether inspectors are sufficiently independent of the companies they are charged to help regulate.
As the Ranking Democratic Member of the House Subcommittee on Energy and Power, I will continue to fight to protect the US Environmental Protection Agency from being dismantled through Republican-led funding cuts. Recent budget proposals seek to cut $3 billion dollars, 1/3rd of the EPA’s budget. The same people who want to dismantle EPA are fighting to allow oil companies to keep $3.6 billion dollars in tax credits at a time when those companies are making record profits. All this while average Americans struggle to pay for gasoline and Chicagoans pay the highest prices in the nation. This inequity must not be allowed to stand.
The battle to protect our local air and water is on-going. I am strongly committed to maintaining The Clean Air Act, to promoting the Restoration of the Great Lakes, to passing the Chicago Clean Power Ordinance, to regulating Greenhouse Gases, to safeguarding our water supply from contamination, and the protection of our planet from the ravages of manmade climate change. These issues remain a top priority on my legislative agenda.