Agenda for a New Congress: Science

In the lead up to the election, voters ranked America’s energy independence as a top concern, integral to our national security and our well being here at home. For the first time, we’ve seen candidates all across the country taking strong positions on clean energy and global warming. And on Tuesday, as a wind of change swept through the country, voters went to the polls in Washington state to vote on the second clean energy initiative in the country.

While the votes are still being counted, it appears that the Washington initiative—requiring 15 percent of electricity sold in the state to come from renewable sources by 2020—will succeed. This follows on a similar victory in Colorado in 2004 and state legislative victories in 20 states and the District of Columbia to enact standards that require electric utilities to increase their use of wind, solar, and other renewable energy.

Americans are sending a strong message that our new leadership in Washington D.C. will find increasingly difficult to ignore. In 2007 we will have exciting new opportunities as key congressional leadership positions overseeing issues of health, science, the environment, and security change hands.

But change doesn’t just happen. We’re going to need your continued support to overcome an uncompromising White House that ignores federal scientists and pursues short-sighted policies, as well as voices in Congress who are more comfortable with the status quo than moving the country in a new direction.

While the composition of Congress has changed, the role of the Union of Concerned Scientists has not. Our efforts to bring rigorous scientific analysis together with innovative policy solutions and committed citizen advocacy will be essential as we work together for a healthier environment and a safer world.

Leveraging new opportunities in 2007, UCS will continue to work with members on both sides of the aisle to:

  • Rapidly increase support for federal climate policies that establish mandatory global warming emission reductions and set long term targets for avoiding the worst effects of global warming.
  • Advocate for a re-examination of U.S. nuclear policy looking to reduce our own country’s reliance on weapons of mass destruction, and oppose the Bush administration’s needless push to rebuild the entire nuclear arsenal.
  • Make progress on meaningful oil savings and fuel economy legislation introduced in the previous Congress, and ensure that policies promoting biofuels are focused on high-benefit, environmentally friendly initiatives.
  • Build off our success in the states to achieve significant progress on clean energy measures at the federal level.
  • Work toward passage of comprehensive federal legislation to prevent aquatic invasive species that can damage native ecosystems from reaching our shores. 
  • Promote a more sustainable approach to agriculture in the next Farm Bill and work to pass legislation restricting the use of important human antibiotics in animal feed.  
  • Push for reforms to protect federal scientists and restore scientific integrity to federal policy making, while encouraging greater congressional oversight of political interference in science at federal agencies.

Achieving these goals will not be easy. To ensure success, it’s essential that we have persistent and energetic activists and members like you.

Working together, I know that we can make substantial progress in the coming year, improving the health and safety of all Americans. Today and tomorrow, thank you for your commitment and generosity.

Sincerely,
Kevin Knobloch
Kevin Knobloch
President

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