Energy & Environment
"Climate change is an environmental issue. It is an economic issue. But it is also fundamentally a moral issue. We have an opportunity to act now to forestall great harm to our nation and to the world. If we don’t act on this challenge, we will not meet our moral obligations to our children and future generations. And history will not judge us kindly. We’ve got to keep pushing, we’ve got to keep working, and we will overcome."
- Rep. Waxman
A longtime champion of environmental protection, Rep. Waxman introduced the first bill in Congress to stabilize the climate in 1992. Since then, he has continued to fight for legislation to avoid dangerous, irreversible climate change. As Ranking Member of the House Energy and Commerce Committee, Rep. Waxman is working on comprehensive energy reform that invests in new technology and renewable sources to meet our growing energy needs and protect consumers, the environment and our national security.
Rep. Waxman was one of the primary authors of the 1990 Clean Air Act amendments, which comprehensively addressed the problems of urban smog, toxic air pollution, acid rain, and the depletion of the stratospheric ozone layer. He also sponsored the 1986 and 1996 Safe Drinking Water Act Amendments; the 1996 Food Quality Act, which regulates pesticides; the Radon Abatement Act; and the Lead Contamination Control Act.
Representative Henry Waxman believes every American has a right to know basic information about environmental hazards. And during the past two decades, he has succeeded in sponsoring and passing legislation that gives families important information about the quality of our nation's air, drinking water, and food.
Rep. Waxman has long been concerned with the growing list of dangerous chemicals used in commerce that are going undetected in consumer products, polluting the environment and even showing up in our bodies. As a leading supporter of landmark legislation that puts the burden on manufacturers to prove the safety of their products before they enter the market, Rep. Waxman has worked to protect the public from exposure to lead and hazardous chemicals like pesticides.
For over twenty years, Rep. Waxman has been a leader in Congress on air quality issues, and was one of the primary authors of the 1990 Clean Air Act, which set new standards on urban smog, acid rain, toxic air emissions, and ozone depletion. As Ranking Member of the House Energy and Commerce Committee, Rep. Waxman is working to build on the Clean Air Act’s environmental and public health protections with comprehensive energy legislation addressing greenhouse gases. Click here to view more information about Rep. Waxman's work on the Clean Air Act.
Rep. Waxman believes every American has a right to know basic information about environmental hazards. And during the past two decades, he has succeeded in sponsoring and passing legislation that gives families important information about the quality of our nation's air, drinking water, and food. Click here to view more information about Rep. Waxman's work on Right-to-Know legislation.
While pesticides are a useful way to limit damage to agricultural products, many pesticides can be harmful to human health and the environment. Rep. Waxman was a primary author of the Food Quality Protection Act (P.L. 104-170), the sweeping legislation that broke through years of stalemate and passed both bodies of Congress with unanimous support. The measure, which has been called the "most important law you never heard of,” established a national safety standard for pesticide residue on all raw and processed foods. The law provides consumers with greater access to information about pesticides in their food and emphasizes the protection of infants and children from pesticide exposure. Since its enactment over a decade ago, P.L. 104-170 has allowed regulations to keep pace with advancements in science while keeping harmful pesticide residues out of the nation’s food supply and drinking water.
The federal government's energy policies affect our day-to-day lives, the future of our environment, and our national security. As Ranking Member of the House Energy and Commerce Committee, Rep. Waxman is working to set America on a path to energy independence with long-term policies that invest in efficient energy technology and address the twin problems of global warming and addiction to oil.
The science has never been clearer that the world’s climate has been destabilized by human activity, and Rep. Waxman is leading the fight in Congress to avoid global warming’s most dangerous consequences. Coupling strong environmental protections with measures to spur investment in new energy technologies, Rep. Waxman is working to shape a clean energy future with long-term, science-based solutions that reduce greenhouse gas emissions.
Throughout his career in Congress, Rep. Waxman has led the effort to keep harmful contaminants out of our drinking water and protect our lakes and rivers from pollution. He has worked to strengthen both the Clean Water Act and the Safe Drinking Water Act. These key federal laws have made America’s water supply one of the cleanest in the world, and Rep. Waxman continues to work to ensure the integrity and effectiveness of these programs. Click here to view more information about Rep. Waxman's work on Right-to-Know legislation.
Rep. Waxman’s Work to Enact the Safe Drinking Water Act Amendments of 1996
The Safe Drinking Water Act (SDWA), which was originally enacted into law in 1974, focuses on ensuring that public drinking water meets appropriate safety standards; in contrast, the Clean Water Act regulates pollution in our nation's lakes, rivers, and other bodies of water. In 1996, Rep. Waxman successfully led the fight in the House of Representatives for a tougher law that would guarantee the public's right-to-know. The new law had broad bipartisan support and was endorsed by industry, state and local governments, and public health and environmental groups. Click here to learn More about Rep. Waxman's Work on the Safe Drinking Water Act.