As Trump Gets Ready to Wield an Axe, Buffalo, New York Area Congressman Defends Great Lakes Programs & Other Services That Benefit Region

Brian Higgins Speaks Up For Historic Tax Credits, Great Lakes Funding, Arts & Heritage Areas in Testimony before                     the House Appropriations Committee

From U.S. Congressman Brian Higgins of Buffalo/Western New York

Posted February 28th, 2017 on Niagara At Large

Our shaired Great Lakes from space. Don't let any moves to gut the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency place their future health in jeopardy.

Our shaired Great Lakes from space. Don’t let any moves to gut the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency place their future health in jeopardy.

(A Brief Foreword by Niagara At Large publisher Doug Draper – NAL is posting this statement from Congressman Higgins of Buffalo, not only because NAL has a readership that includes people in the Buffalo, New York area, but because Donald Trump, less than 100 days into his presidency, is planning to make huge cuts in the budget of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, as well as cutting regulations for protecting the environment.

As a reporter whose coverage of the environment goes back more than 30 years to Love Canal, Hyde Park and other massive toxic waste dumps on the American side of the Niagara River leading their poisons into waters millions of Canadians and Americans depend on for drinking and other purposes, the EPA, with an office still operating in Buffalo, New York, has played an important role in addressing those and other sources of contamination to our shared Great Lakes.

U.S. Congressman Brian Higgins of Buffalo/Western New York

U.S. Congressman Brian Higgins of Buffalo/Western New York

It is imperative that everything be done to fight any moves by the Trump administration to gut resources and regulations for protecting these life-sustaining shared water resources for present and future generations.

Good for Congressman Higgins for speaking up for them. We need to hear the same from more politicians and people on both sides of the border.)

Now here is Congressman Higgin’s Open Statement on this –

As the House of Representatives Appropriation Subcommittee on Interior, Environment, and Related Agencies prepares budgetary decisions for Fiscal Year 2018, Congressman Brian Higgins (NY-26) testified before the panel to make Western New York priorities heard.  The subcommittee’s jurisdiction includes funding for the arts, historic preservation and environmental protection.

To access video of click of Congressman Higgins delivering a statement on thee matters,  click on the following –

The Congressman, a member of the Great Lakes Task Force, credited the Great Lakes Restoration Initiative with revival of the Buffalo River, saying in part, “Prior to the Clean Water/Clean Air Act of 1972, chemical, steel and grain industry essentially dumped their toxic poison into places like the Great Lakes and the Buffalo River.

In 1970, the Environmental Protection Agency declared that the Buffalo River was biologically dead and ecologically destroyed.  It (GLRI) has resulted in unleashing the resources and creativity of the private sector which have invested a lot of money for restoration of habitat along the Buffalo River and also residential commercial mixed-use development in those corridors.  So it’s really created a new economy in Buffalo and it’s a very important program.”

Higgins also pointed out how projects that use Historic Tax Credits are playing a critical role in the revitalization of local neighborhoods, “One hundred years ago Buffalo was the eighth largest economy in the entire nation and one of the strongest in the entire world.

All of the great landscape and building architects came to Buffalo; consequently we had these beautiful buildings but because of economic decline over the last 20 years Buffalo took a major hit and a lot of those buildings were empty.  Because of the Historic Tax Credit program, developers undertook the redevelopment of those buildings for commercial, mixed-use and residential development.  Now we’re seeing Buffalo undergo a major economic renaissance.”

In longer, written testimony Congressman Higgins also pointed to programs through the National Endowment for the Arts, National Endowment for the Humanities and the National Heritage Areas, including the Niagara Falls and Erie Canalway Heritage Areas, for their role in both contributing to the region’s culture and quality of life as well as driving tourism and economic opportunity.

Congressman Higgins serves as a member of the House of Representatives Committee on the Budget, responsible for developing the annual budget resolution, and the Ways and Means Committee, which oversees tax policy.

Watch –

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For more news and commentary from Niagara At Large – an independent, alternative voice for our greater binational Niagara region – become a regular visitor and subscriber to NAL at www.niagaraatlarge.com .

 “A politician thinks of the next election. A leader thinks of the next generation.” – Bernie Sanders

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