Inslee addresses Sierra Club chapter

  • Danielle Koagel<br>Enterprise writer
  • Monday, March 3, 2008 11:37am

It’s no small wonder that Democratic U.S. Rep. Jay Inslee plays basketball. At 6 feet 2 inches tall and 200 pounds, Inslee can be a towering presence, but he can also feel at home in his Toyota Prius.

Inslee’s choice of car is more than just a mode of transportation, it also represents his politics.

The Bainbridge Democrat shared his views on politics and the environment Tuesday, Aug. 1, in Edmonds in a speech to the Snohomish County chapter of the Sierra Club meeting in Lynnwood.

Inslee has been a longtime supporter of fuel-efficient cars and other living alternatives that embody what he refers to as a, “clean energy future.”

“We can’t drill our way out of this problem,” Inslee said, referring to America’s reliance on fossil fuels and oil imports.

Instead, Inslee envisions an America full of hybrid cars, more efficient and effective heating and cooling systems, greater emphasis on public transportation and energy efficient housing, businesses, and buses.

To help make his vision a reality, Inslee is pushing his own bill called The New Apollo Energy Act. The bill takes its name from President John F. Kennedy’s Apollo Act of 1961, which challenged Americans to send a man to the moon in 10 years.

Inslee is confident that the best way to address the energy problem is to come up with several clean energy alternatives.

“I don’t believe that there is a ‘silver bullet’ to this problem,” Inslee said. “It’s like eating a pie. You eat it one bite at a time. That’s how we should take on the energy crisis, one bite at a time.”

Inslee’s clean energy bill targets the fuel-efficiency of cars.

Inslee proposes the use of vegetation-based products, natural gas, and other renewable fuel source alternatives.

By relying on American ingenuity and resourcefulness to create economically stable fueling methods, he believes that the U.S. can improve national security, create more high-tech jobs and address global warming.

The Republican majority, however, isn’t on board with the bill, he said.

“We couldn’t get a vote on this even if we wanted to,” Inslee said. He acknowledged that there needs to be a major political turn-around in pursuing energy alternatives if his bill is to go forward.

However, Inslee said progress is being made. He cited several projects in the Western United States including, the Sound Transit light-rail system in King County and the first American ethanol-producing plant being established in Idaho.

Inslee said he is concerned about America’s energy use in combination with the consequences of global warming and the affect it will have on the planet in the years to come. “It’s scary how rapidly global warming is occurring … we need to be able to leave something for our children,” he said.

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