We need to protect our natural environment while promoting sound growth and economic development. The resources of South Texas need to be preserved for future generations. Every resident should have access to clean water and clean air. Congressman Hinojosa supports full enforcement of the Clean Air and Clean Water Act and the development of clean sources of energy.
The Lower Rio Grande Valley National Wildlife Refuge is a unique treasure that is home to hundreds of species of birds, butterflies and other wildlife found no where else on earth. The refuge is an engine of economic development and it is estimated that $100 million annually is generated and 2,000 jobs are sustained by eco-tourism created by the refuge and the new birding centers. Congressman Hinojosa has obtained over $6,000,000 for land purchases from willing sellers to expand the refuge and preserve this unique sanctuary.
Congressman Hinojosa opposes efforts to weaken the progress we have made under the Clean Air and Clean Water Acts. Recently, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has been pursuing regulatory changes to the New Source Review (NSR) program of the Clean Air Act that could result in more emissions from new and existing pollution sources. Additionally, the Administration’s restructuring of the Superfund program undermines the principle that the polluter should pay for cleanup. Regulatory changes have also been proposed to weaken the Clean Water Act. Yet more than 40 percent of our nation’s lakes, river, and streams are unfit for swimming.
One of the most important investments we can make to ensure a secure future for America is in clean, renewable energy. America’s dependence on foreign sources of oil puts our economy and national security at risk America’s heavy reliance on oil has forced us to depend on the resources of unstable and sometimes hostile foreign regimes. It has also made our consumers vulnerable to price fluctuations that can threaten the stability of our economy. Recent increases in gas prices are the most visible example. Only by diversifying our energy portfolio will we truly be able to safeguard our freedom and our prosperity. Our country needs to find new sources of energy and to invest in renewable energy projects. We cannot replace the over ten million barrels of oil we import every day only by increasing drilling in this country or in the waters of the Gulf of Mexico, although Congressman Hinojosa continues to support increased domestic production.
Clearly, the future points to a bolder vision of energy development that is not only cleaner, but also sustainable. This will require investment in new technologies. New technologies have allowed the extraction of new sources of energy that are creating jobs and providing an economic boom particularly in the Coastal Bend region. Congressman Hinojosa believes that a balanced energy policy will allow us to reach the goal of energy sustainability.