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Thursday, April 05, 2007

Congressman Murphy announces his appointment as Chairman of Congressional Open Space Caucus

This is great news for the fifth district!
Today, Congressman Chris Murphy (CT-5) held a press conference to announce his appointment as Chairman of the Congressional Open Space Caucus, and update residents of the Fifth District on his work to protect the Farmington River and the Metacomet Monadnock Mattabesett (MMM) trail.

"I am thrilled to be taking a lead role on environmental and open space issues in Washington. Protecting the environment is why I became active in politics, and I am making protecting open space one of my top priorities in Congress," said Murphy.

As Chairman of the Congressional Open Space Caucus, Murphy will assist the House leadership in crafting legislation to protect open space across the country. Murphy sought out this position because he knows that protecting open space in the Fifth District is so important to his constituents. Since taking office, he has met with several organizations whose missions are to protect various trails, rivers, and scenic vistas in the District.

"I am committed to working with people in the Fifth District to protect the environmental character of our corner of Connecticut," said Murphy.
Not only do we have a Democratic State Rep who working to protect open space, NOW we a Congressman who's going to keep a VERY, VERY close eye on the open space issues in Danbury as well.

The citizens of Connecticut should be proud.

Here's a sample of some of items on Murphy's agenda.
In his first months in office, Murphy has begun to work with his Northeast Congressional delegation colleagues to ensure that the Partnership for Wild and Scenic Rivers program is adequately funded so that the Farmington River is protected. He is also working to ensure that the study designed to examine the extension of the Farmington River 's Wild and Scenic designation signed into law last year is adequately funded and implemented. The Farmington River provides the Hartford region with its drinking water, and it is the most fished river in the state, so its cleanliness is vital to the meet the needs of Connecticut residents.

Murphy has also signed on to legislation, HR 1528, the New England National Scenic Trail Designation Act, to extend and protect the MMM trail, which stretches 220 miles through Massachusetts and Connecticut , cutting through the Farmington Valley . Two million people live within ten miles of the trail and thousands of Connecticut residents enjoy the recreational opportunities provided by the trail.

"The Farmington River and the MMM trail are two of the unique assets that make Northwestern Connecticut so special. Without a proactive effort on the part of Congress to protect assets like these, we could threaten the unique character of Northwestern Connecticut ," said Murphy.

Finally, Murphy is also leading an effort to galvanize support among his freshman colleagues in the House of Representatives for legislation to address global warming.

"Global warming is the most pressing environmental issue of our time. We entered Congress at a time when public demand for action to address global warming has reached critical mass. As new members of Congress elected to bring change to Washington , it is our responsibility to begin to solve this growing crisis," Murphy wrote in a letter to his freshman colleagues.

Murphy is an original cosponsor of HR 1590, The Safe Climate Act of 2007. To assist the lead sponsor, House Oversight and Government Reform Chairman Henry Waxman, Murphy is garnering support among the new Member class for the legislation.

Murphy has long advocated for reducing emissions and increasing our reliance on alternative energy sources. Last summer, he unveiled a comprehensive energy plan to reduce the nation's reliance on foreign oil and to protect the environment.

HR 1590 directs the federal government to take various steps to reduce U.S. emissions of the pollutants that cause global warming to 1990 levels by 2020. These steps will be achieved by amending landmark laws such as the Clean Air Act and the Public Utility Regulatory Policies Act to ensure that emissions are gradually reduced by freezing emissions from further increasing in 2010, and by reducing emissions by roughly 2% per year from 2011 to 2020. These cuts could be achieved using existing technologies, such as alternative energy sources. From 2020 to 2050, with more advanced technologies available, emissions would be reduced by roughly 5% per year.