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Orange County, CA November 2, 2004 Election
Smart Voter

Position on the Environment

By Tom Harman

Candidate for Member of the State Assembly; District 67

This information is provided by the candidate
Preservation of environmental quality is one of the key issues facing today's Californians. My environmental priorities include:
  • Maintaining and improving air quality
  • Maintaining and improving water quality
  • Reducing global warming
  • Preserving and maintaining parks, open space, and wildlands
  • Reforesting our urban areas

In my first two years in office as your Assemblyman, I was able to move forward on many of these environmental goals.

I assisted in obtaining $5,000,000 in funding for the Orange County Water District and Orange County Sanitation District for construction of the Groundwater Replenishment System. This much-needed project will refill Orange County's depleted groundwater basins with reclaimed water that has been purified by reverse osmosis.

In California, global warming will mean hotter days, more smog, rising sea levels, loss of coastal wetlands, and reduced snowpack in the Sierras. My vote was the deciding vote that passed an Assembly bill to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. Unfortunately, the Senate tacked on amendments that would have been too costly for already overtaxed citizens to bear, so I withdrew my support.

While I served on the Huntington Beach City Council, I initiated the concept of urban forests in our city parks. Thanks to a cooperative effort by a private non-profit group and city and state governments, this forest began to take root in Huntington Beach Central Park in 2001. I would like to help other communities in my district to reforest their towns and help fight global warming by planting more trees.

When I saw the sad state of repair of the Bolsa Chica Ecological Reserve in my district, I knew something had to be done. I met with the head of the Department of Fish and Game and presented documentation of the repairs that were needed. Fortunately, I was able to secure a financial commitment from them to repair the parking lot, walkbridge, and trail system of the Bolsa Chica. This work, which is needed for public safety, is scheduled for January, 2003.

I helped my district secure $600,000 in funding to upgrade the Wetlands and Wildlife Care Center, which rescues and cares for sick and injured wildlife in Orange County, especially endangered species and oil-spill injured wildlife.

When I learned that introduction of an invasive aquarium plant called Killer Algae (Caulerpa taxifolia) threatened our coastal waters, I introduced a bill to protect the California coast from this deadly menace. This bill, which was signed into law in 2001, bans the import, sale, and possession of Killer Algae, which can smother all plant life in bays and estuaries.

I am proud to have achieved the second highest score on environmental issues among all Assembly Republicans, as ranked by the Sierra Club. I hope that you as voters will support me in my continuing fight to preserve and protect our precious natural environment.

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