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Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Sierra Club Endorses Tom Udall for Senate on Earth Day 2008

TudallterrellThe early support from environmental groups for Rep. Tom Udall's U.S. Senate run is strong indeed. The Sierra Club has now joined the Defenders of Wildlife Action Fund, the League of Conservation Voters and the Conservation Voters New Mexico in officially endorsing Udall. Rep. Udall's campaign released the following statement today about the latest endorsement:

As Congressman Tom Udall accepted the Sierra Club's endorsement for his United States Senate campaign this Earth Day, he reflected on their legislative accomplishments and pledged to continue fighting for our nation's long-term energy security.

"The Sierra Club has been a leader in New Mexico and around the nation to sensibly promote, restore and maintain our ecosystem and natural resources," said Udall. "This Earth Day, I can reflect on the many things we have accomplished together and look forward to continuing the fight for conservation and energy independence in the Senate."

During Udall's near-decade of service in the House of Representatives, and with the crucial support of the Sierra Club, Udall has championed policies to federally protect cherished places in New Mexico like the Valle Vidal, Ojito Wilderness Area and the Valles Caldera. Together they built coalitions of environmentalists, ranchers, sportsmen and local governments all committed to conserving these treasured landscapes that buoy the surrounding rural economies and boast a wide range of activities for New Mexicans and visitors to enjoy.

"Thanks to our work together, thousands of New Mexicans can enjoy these unparalleled lands for hiking, hunting, and outdoor activities for future generations to come," Udall noted.

The congressman also earned the 1.3-million-member strong Sierra Club's endorsement for Senate because for his extensive efforts to move America towards a new, more stable, energy future.

Said Udall, "On Earth Day and everyday we have a solemn responsibility to protect our planet. As a United States Senator, I will continue the fight to end our fossil fuel addiction, develop alternative sources of energy, secure our energy independence and reduce green house gas emissions in the Senate. For me, and so many New Mexicans, these are more than buzzwords, they are the economic future of our state and the moral imperative of this country."

Three Common-Sense Energy Proposals
Among many, Udall described three common-sense proposals he says will not only help redefine the way we look at energy, but do so in a way that creates jobs.

The first is his plan to establish a federal Renewable Electricity Standard (RES), under which big electric utilities would be required to chip in by providing 15 percent of their electricity from wind, solar and other renewable energy sources by 2020.

"Not only will this help us meet our growing demand for electricity – it will create thousands of jobs, lower energy prices, a nation less dependent on foreign oil and significant reductions of greenhouse gas emissions," Udall said. "This plan would also revitalize rural America by helping farmers and rural land owners by creating a new revenue stream for their future."

With the backing of the Sierra Club, Udall fought for the inclusion of an RES, which passed the House twice despite long odds last year, in the Energy bill last year. But as he said, "It died at the hands of a slim minority in the Senate."

The congressman also plans to keep extending renewable energy and efficiency tax credits to promote stable growth in the industry.

"Not only would these tax credits translate into a reduction in residential and commercial energy costs, but they generate new domestic green collar jobs, and boost the economy," said Udall. "Renewable energy sources are proven economic engines for our country."

Finally, Udall also promised to continue his work to ensure the government does its share to reduce its carbon footprint by encouraging "Green Building," on the federal and commercial level.

"The plan I have successfully championed requires improved Federal and commercial building energy efficiency, with green building standards for new federal buildings and a zero net energy initiative to develop technologies, practices and policies to reach the goal of having all commercial buildings use no net energy by 2050. We've accomplished much in this area, but we can and must do more.

He said that the government should extend and expand tax credits for individuals, builders and businesses that use energy-saving technologies and applauded the efforts already underway in New Mexico.

"As we celebrate this Earth Day, I encourage you to enjoy the unparalleled beauty of New Mexico's open spaces and to do your part in conserving energy and natural resources so that, together, we can work to stop the ravages that global warming will have on our entire planet," concluded Udall.

Udall's father Stewart was Interior Secretary under Presidents Kennedy and Johnson, and his uncle Morris spent three decades in the Congress working on these issues.

Tom Udall served as a member of the House Natural Resources Committee for eight years. He currently sits on the House Appropriations Subcommittee on Interior and the Environment.

Photo Credit: Steve Terrell.

True Blue New Mexico supports Tom Udall for U.S. Senate. You can sign up to support Udall's campaign here. To see our previous coverage of the 2008 U.S. Senate race in New Mexico, visit our archive.

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April 22, 2008 at 12:49 PM in 2008 NM Senate Race, Energy, Environment | Permalink


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