Preserving our environment while investing in alternative energy:
- Pass a fair severance tax on natural gas drilling
- Ban drilling in state forests
- Increase regulation of fracking and monitoring of the impact of drilling on water, air, and land
- Increase investment in green and sustainable initiatives in our communities
- Invest in alternative energy development and manufacturing
- Increase the Alternative Energy Portfolio Standard requirements
When I was 10 years old, my family was living in Alaska when the Exxon Valdez spilled thousands of gallons of oil into Prince Williams Sound, causing what was at the time, the worst man-made ecological disaster in U.S. history. Like so many families in the region, our lives were turned upside down as focus turned to the massive damage being done to the pristine environment and local animal population during the spill and aftermath. The images of oily surf, seagulls and otters in the waves and along the beaches, and thousands of volunteers turning out to scrub rocks one at a time, has remained a vivid reminder of the broad and lasting impact that carelessness and irresponsibility can have on our environment.
Years later, I had the opportunity to work at the Environmental Protection Agency’s Headquarters in Washington, D.C. as the Senior Law Clerk. I saw daily how the work of a dedicated group of individuals, fighting diligently to protect our limited natural resources did truly impact the world we live in, and I learned just how important it was to make sure the tools are available to protect those resources.
I also learned that protecting those resources and allowing our businesses, both small and large, the opportunities to operate and expand are not mutually exclusive. In fact, smart environmental policy has shown time and time again that is possible a modern, green economy can create jobs and support economic growth. It’s incumbent upon our new generation of leaders to call upon all that we have learned in this modern era about responsible corporate citizenry.