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Sherwood Louis Boehlert (born September 28, 1936) is a retired American politician from New Yorkmarker. He represented upstate New Yorkmarker in the United States House of Representatives from 1983 until 2007. Boehlert, a Republican, was considered to be a member of the party's moderate wing.


Boehlert was born in Utica, New Yorkmarker to Elizabeth Monica Champoux and Sherwood Boehlert, and graduated from Utica College. He served two years in the United States Army (1956–1958) and then worked as a manager of public relations for Wyandotte Chemical Company.

Congressman Boehlert at a press conference.
After leaving Wyandotte, Boehlert served as Chief of Staff for two upstate Congressmen, Alexander Pirnie and Donald J. Mitchell; following this, he was elected the county executive of Oneida County, New Yorkmarker, serving from 1979 to 1983. After his four-year term as county executive, he ran successfully for Congress in the elections of 1982. He was reelected to every Congress subsequent. In 2003, Utica Union Stationmarker was renamed in the Congressman's honor.

On March 17, 2006, at a press conference in Utica, New York, Boehlert announced that he would not seek a thirteenth term in office.

Congressional career

Boehlert served on the Science Committee for his entire congressional career. In 2001, he was made the chairman of the committee. In addition, he was the third-ranking member of the Transportation Committee; from 1995 to 2000, he served as the chairman of its Subcommittee on Water Resources and Environment. He was also a member of the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence, serving as interim Chairman of the committee in 2004.

Boehlert was an active promoter of first responder legislation, a strong champion for volunteer firefighters and original member and Chairman of the Congressional Fire Services Caucus.

Boehlert also was a member of several national moderate GOP groups including the Republican Main Street Partnership, the Ripon Society and Christine Todd Whitman's It's My Party Too.

Boehlert is best known for his work on environmental policy. Beginning in the 1980s with the acid rain crisis, Boehlert became a prominent voice in the Republican party for the environment. He was a major contributor to the acid rain provisions of the Clean Air Act Amendments of 1990. Boehlert pushed continually to increase Corporate Average Fuel Economy (CAFE) standards for light trucks and automobiles and was the lead GOP sponsor of numerous CAFE amendments.Due to Boehlert's constant battles over environmental legislation, often putting him at odds with his party's leadership, National Journal dubbed Boehlert the “Green Hornet” and featured him as one of the dozen “key players” in the House of Representatives.

Due to his centrist views, Time Magazine also recognized Boehlert as a “power center” on Capitol Hill and Congressional Quarterly named him one of the 50 most effective Members of Congress.

On the Science Committee, Boehlert championed investments in the National Science Foundation, science and math education programs and the Department of Energy's Office of Science. As Chairman he pushed for measures to increase cybersecurity R&D and the creation of a Science and Technology Directorate at the Department of Homeland Securitymarker. After 9/11 and the anthrax attacks, Boehlert crafted legislation establishing the DHS S&T Directorate to oversee development of technologies to secure against terrorist attacks. This homeland security S&T bill reported out of the Science Committee was ultimately accepted by the congressional leadership and President Bush and enacted as part of the Homeland Security Act of 2002.

Boehlert was one of the first Members of Congress to call for a competitiveness agenda, culminating with a major National Academy of Sciencesmarker report Rising Above the Gathering Storm on retaining U.S. leadership in science and engineering, as well as the American Competitiveness Initiative introduced by President Bush in 2006.

Recent Activities

Since 2007, Boehlert has remained active promoting environmental and scientific causes. He serves currently on the Board of the bipartisan Alliance for Climate Protection chaired by former Vice President Al Gore. Boehlert has served as a co-chair of the National Transportation Policy Project of the Bipartisan Policy Center.


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  2. National Volunteer Fire Council Presents Appreciation Award to Rep. Sherwood Boehlert
  3. H.R. 3394 - Cyber Security Research and Development Act, Rep. Boehlert (R-NY)

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