Saturday, September 27, 2008
Senator Boxer wants to hear from you.
I get a lot of email from Senator Boxer. Normally, I know it is very self-serving. Even when I have sent a letter to her office, I got a response about all of the great things she was doing in the general subject area of my letter. Unfortunately, her actions were the exact opposite of what I said should be done.
Still she is again asking for input and I found a really great response that I want to share. The writer, Edward Chow, is a local, Santa Clara County member of the Green Party and has served as Chairman, Campus Greens at UC Berkeley. Read Boxer's letter and Chow's response in their entirety by clicking "Read more".
The following is from Senator Barbara Boxer. Let her know what you think. After her message is what I wrote to her.
Traffic and air quality are issues that impact all Californians. We all hope to quickly and safely travel to work or school and then home to our families. We also all depend on clean air that is too often degraded by cars, trucks and trains.
As the Chairman of the Senate’s Committee on Environment and Public Works, one of my most important priorities for the coming year is to authorize a new federal highway, transit and highway safety bill. The aim of the bill is to improve surface transportation nationwide, which can help improve our air quality as well. My committee has begun the process to write the next bill. I am writing to you both to offer some information about the process and to ask for your thoughts about the focus and priorities of the bill.
Recently, I held briefings in California to hear from transportation officials in California about their priorities. With the following links, you can watch video of the two briefings in Sacramento and Los Angeles and read the testimony of the witnesses:
Field Briefing in Los Angeles
Field Briefing in Sacramento
I also want to hear from you. I want to know your priorities for the next federal transportation bill. I hope you will use the instructions at the bottom of this page to send me your thoughts about what the transportation priorities for the nation should be for the coming years. What can be done to best reduce congestion? Do you want more public transit? What should be done to more quickly move freight across the nation? While these are not easy questions, I would like to hear from you. By considering the thoughts of Californians, I think we can craft a better bill for the nation.
United States Senator
To respond to this message, please click here. This link will take you to a webpage where you can reply to messages that you receive from Senator Boxer’s office.
Dear Senator Boxer:
As one of the largest contributors to greenhouse gas emissions, California is poised to take a leadership role in stopping global warming even if the United States does not. However, real change will need to happen in Washington DC to tackle this issue, so I am thankful that this is an issue that we both care about.
First, we need to seriously fund public transit and high speed rail in California and in major metropolitan areas instead of spending billions in the coming years expanding our highways and airports.
Second, we need to put serious pressure on the auto industry to produce green vehicles. Plug-in hybrid and electric vehicle technologies were available a decade ago, but GM decided to scrap the EV1. Learning from past mistakes, we need to increase our CAFE standards for cars to 60mpg and 45mpg for light trucks by 2012 if we are to reach the target of an 80% reduction in our greenhouse gas emissions by 2025. The current plan for 80% by 2050 is not enough if we are to stop global warming, even though vague and distant goals may be more politically convenient.
Lastly, we need to show the world that we mean business when we talk about getting rid of our addiction to dirty fuels such as oil. There is too much talk about biofuels such as ethanol and other unclean, non-sustainable energy sources for our nation's vehicles. We need to seriously invest in converting to a solar economy with 100% electric cars. Gasoline, ethanol, and hydrogen are not the ways of the future, despite what big auto and oil companies are telling Congress and ordinary Americans. We also need to adopt a nuclear-free energy policy, a policy that the Republicans are going to do a major push for in the near future. The Democratic Party CANNOT give in to nuclear lobbyists and the conservative agenda!
Thank you for prioritizing the future of transportation in our country and I hope to hear your thoughts about these matters soon.