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Gordon Harold Smith on Environment

Republican Jr Senator (OR)


Create more jobs in timber industry

Both Smith & Merkley said they wanted to do more to promote timber harvesting as a way to beef up the state’s economy.

Smith said 8 billion board feet were harvested during the 1980s, which he thought was too much. As opposed to his opponent, Smith said he wants to create a timber industry that will offer more jobs.

Merkley said that a sustainable forest harvest is important for the economy. He said that both Bush and Smith have caused the state to lose 12,000 jobs in the timber industry.

Source: 2008 Oregon Senate Debate, in Southern Oregon Mail Tribune Oct 14, 2008

Inserted Oregon timber payments into $70 bailout bill

Smith noted that he was able to restore federal timber payments to Oregon counties by inserting it in the federal economic bailout bill--a bill Merkley had said he would have opposed.

Merkley responded that Smith had never been able to restore the payments while Republicans controlled the Senate. “We need to have a son of a timber family to fight for timber payments,” said Merkley, who was born in timber-dependent Douglas County and whose father once owned a mill.

Source: 2008 Oregon Senate Debate reported in Statesman Journal Oct 14, 2008

Preserve and protect Mt. Hood and the Columbia River Gorge

Smith brings a balanced approach to preserving Oregon’s treasures. He believes a landmark can be protected without locking out the public. Gordon worked with stakeholders on both sides when helping create Oregon’s fourth largest wilderness preserve at Steens Mountain. Now he is working with the entire Congressional delegation to preserve and protect Mt. Hood and the Columbia River Gorge.
Source: Campaign website, www.gordonsmith.com Aug 12, 2008

Voted NO on prohibiting eminent domain for use as parks or grazing land.

To prohibit the involuntary acquisition of farmland & grazing land by government for parks, open space, or similar purposes. Exceptions include takings for use by:

Proponents support voting YES because:

Sen. CRAIG: "Eminent domain was elevated greatly as an issue following a highly controversial 2005 Supreme Court decision known as Kelo vs. The City of New London. Since that decision, we as a nation have allowed state & local governments to utilize eminent domain to force landowners to yield their property to private development. Farmers and ranchers in particular have become vulnerable to state and local governments taking their property for economic development or open space designations. My amendment is a very targeted amendment. It addresses only cases in which private working agricultural land is taken and turned into public open space."

Opponents recommend voting NO because:

Sen. HARKIN: This amendment doesn't reach the Kelo decision [because Kelo was about taking open space for private development]. Under this amendment they can still do that.

CRAIG. Oh, I disagree totally. We reach a portion of Kelo that is now most frequently impacting farms and ranches, and that is open space for open space.

HARKIN. The amendment has the Federal Government telling a local government what it can and cannot do within its own jurisdiction.

Letter from the National Conference of State Legislatures & US Conference of Mayors:

"This amendment is not only ill-advised, but it is also unconstitutional [because it] preempts state & local land use laws. The 5th Amendment expressly permits the taking of private property for public use provided just compensation is provided to the owner. The power of eminent domain has always been, and should remain, a state and local power."

Reference: Craig Amendment to Farm Bill Extension Act; Bill S.Amdt. 3640 to H.R. 2419 ; vote number 2007-429 on Dec 13, 2007

Voted YES on including oil & gas smokestacks in mercury regulations.

A joint resolution disapproving the rule submitted by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) on March 15, 2005, relating to the removal of coal- and oil-fired electric generating units from the list of major sources of hazardous air pollutants under the Clean Air Act. The EPA's Clean Air Mercury Rule:
Reference: EPA's Clean Air Mercury Rule; Bill S J Res 20 ; vote number 2005-225 on Sep 13, 2005

Voted YES on confirming Gale Norton as Secretary of Interior.

Vote to confirm the nomination of Gale Norton as Secretary of Interior. [Ms. Norton generally favors conservative or libertarian stances on the environment.]
Reference: Bill Confirmation vote ; vote number 2001-6 on Jan 30, 2001

Voted YES on more funding for forest roads and fish habitat.

The Bryan Amdt (D-NV) offered an amendment to raise funding levels for Forest Service road maintenance and wildlife and fisheries habitat management programs. Senator Craig (R-ID) motioned to table this amendment. [A YES vote is considered pro-business].
Status: Table Motion Agreed to Y)54; N)43; NV)3
Reference: Motion to table Bryan Amdt. #1588; Bill H.R. 2466 ; vote number 1999-272 on Sep 14, 1999

Voted YES on transportation demo projects.

McCain amendment to the transportation reauthorization bill (S. 1173) would require that funding for demonstration projects be covered by their respective state allocations instead of being funded individually in the transportation bill.
Status: Amdt Agreed to Y)78; N)22
Reference: McCain Amdt #1726; Bill S. 1173 ; vote number 1998-29 on Mar 12, 1998

Voted NO on reducing funds for road-building in National Forests.

Vote on an amendment to cut the $47.4 million provided for Forest Service road construction by $10 million, and to eliminate the purchaser credit program [which provides credits to timber companies to offset what they owe the government].
Reference: Bill HR.2107 ; vote number 1997-242 on Sep 17, 1997

Supports grants for brownfields remediation.

Smith adopted the Republican Main Street Partnership agenda item:

H.R. 2941 Brownfields Redevelopment Enhancement Act.
Republican Main Street Partnership Congresswomen Marge Roukema (NJ), Sue Kelly (NY), and Melissa Hart (PA) as well as Congressman Paul Gillmor (PA) have introduced legislation providing a new source of funding for improving former industrial sites. H.R. 2941 reauthorizes the Brownfields Remediation Grant Program as well as creating a new loan program for brownfields redevelopment. The pilot program encourages cities to tap private loans for civic improvements by using the federal grants as collateral. The bill allows for Community Development Block Grants to be used in industrial site clean up as well.

Source: Republican Main Street Partnership Legislative Agenda 02-RMSP2 on May 24, 2002

Make EPA into a Cabinet department.

Smith adopted the Republican Main Street Partnership agenda item:

H.R. 2438/H.R. 2694 Department of Environmental Protection Act.
Republican Main Street Partnership members Sherwood Boehlert (NY) and Steve Horn (CA) each have introduced legislation that would elevate the position of Administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to that of cabinet level. Initially, the EPA served as a regulatory agency, but as a result of numerous statutes enacted by Congress, the agency's jurisdiction has swelled. Each bill would redesignate the EPA as the Department of Environmental Protection. RMSP supports the efforts of Congressman Vern Ehlers to include a deputy administrator for science within the department.

Source: Republican Main Street Partnership Legislative Agenda 02-RMSP3 on May 24, 2002

Rated 32% by the LCV, indicating anti-environment votes.

Smith scores 32% by the LCV on environmental issues

The League of Conservation Voters (LCV) is the political voice of the national environmental movement and the only organization devoted full-time to shaping a pro-environment Congress and White House. We run tough and effective campaigns to defeat anti-environment candidates, and support those leaders who stand up for a clean, healthy future for America. Through our National Environmental Scorecard and Presidential Report Card we hold Congress and the Administration accountable for their actions on the environment. Through regional offices, we build coalitions, promote grassroots power, and train the next generation of environmental leaders. The 2003 National Environmental Scorecard provides objective, factual information about the environmental voting records of all Members of the first session of the 108th Congress. This Scorecard represents the consensus of experts from 20 respected environmental and conservation organizations who selected the key votes on which Members of Congress should be graded. LCV scores votes on the most important issues of the year, including environmental health and safety protections, resource conservation, and spending for environmental programs. Scores are calculated by dividing the number of pro-environment votes by the total number of votes scored. The votes included in this Scorecard presented Members of Congress with a real choice on protecting the environment and help distinguish which legislators are working for environmental protection. Except in rare circumstances, the Scorecard excludes consensus action on the environment and issues on which no recorded votes occurred.

Source: LCV website 03n-LCV on Dec 31, 2003

Tax credit to remove lead-based housepaint.

Smith co-sponsored giving tax credit to remove lead-based housepaint

OFFICIAL CONGRESSIONAL SUMMARY: Allows a tax credit for 50% of the costs of reducing lead hazards in U.S. homes built before 1960 in which certain low-income children less than six years of age and women of child-bearing age reside. Allows a maximum credit of $3,000 for lead abatement costs and $1,000 for the cost of interim lead control measures.

EXCERPTS OF BILL:

    Congress finds that:
  1. Of the 98 million housing units in the United States, 38 million have lead-based paint.
  2. Of the 38 million housing units with lead-based paint, 25 million pose a hazard due to conditions such as peeling paint and settled dust on floors and windowsills that contain lead at levels above Federal safety standards.
  3. Lead poisoning remains a serious, entirely preventable threat to a child's intelligence, behavior, and learning.
  4. The Administration has established a national goal of ending childhood lead poisoning by 2010.
  5. Current Federal lead abatement programs only have resources sufficient to make approximately 7,000 homes lead-safe each year.
  6. The replacement of old windows that contain lead based paint significantly reduces lead poisoning hazards in addition to producing significant energy savings.
  7. Childhood lead poisoning can be dramatically reduced by the abatement or complete removal of all lead-based paint.
There shall be allowed as a tax credit, an amount equal to 50% of the lead hazard reduction activity cost paid, up to $1,000 per year for certain activities and $3,000 per year for other activities.

LEGISLATIVE OUTCOME:Referred to Senate Committee on Finance; never came to a vote.

Source: Home Lead Safety Tax Credit Act (S.2053/H.R.4464) 05-S2053 on Nov 18, 2005

Focus on results, not regulation.

Smith adopted the Republican Main Street Partnership issue stance:

Source: Republican Main Street Partnership Issue Paper: Environment 98-RMSP1 on Sep 9, 1998

Other candidates on Environment: Gordon Harold Smith on other issues:
OR Gubernatorial:
Ted Kulongoski
OR Senatorial:
Jeff Merkley
Ron Wyden

Newly elected in 2008 & seated in 2009:
AK:Begich (D)
CO:Udall (D)
ID:Risch (R)
MN:Franken (D)
NC:Hagan (D)
NE:Johanns (R)
NH:Shaheen (D)
NM:Udall (D)
OR:Merkley (D)
VA:Warner (D)

Newly appointed in 2009;
special election in 2010:

DE:Kaufman (D)
CO:Bennet (D)
IL:Burris (D)
NY:Gillibrand (D)

Announced retirement as of 2010:
DE:Kaufman (D)
FL:Martinez (R)
KS:Brownback (R)
MO:Bond (R)
OH:Voinovich (R)


Up for 6-year term in 2010:
(13 Democrats; 15 Republicans)
AK:Murkowski (R)
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HI:Inouye (D)
IA:Grassley (R)
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MD:Mikulski (D)
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SD:Thune (R)
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Page last updated: Nov 22, 2009