Congressman Frank Pallone, Jr. (NJ-06) today released the following statement in recognition of Earth Day, which is celebrated April 22, 2012:
"Earth Day serves as an annual reminder that we must prioritize environmental stewardship. We have come a long way since we first began observing Earth Day in 1970. Americans are more aware of the planet's fragility and the need to take steps to protect our air, waters and resources, but we have a lot more work to do.
"In New Jersey, environmental protection is particularly critical. New Jersey has the most superfund sites in the nation. As the most densely populated state in the country it is critical that we move to clean up the damage that has been done and take proactive measures to protect the health and safety of our communities.
"High gas prices throughout New Jersey and the nation also give us pause on this Earth Day to reflect and consider our over reliance on fossil fuels. Two years ago we all watched in horror as the BP oil spill caused one of the worst environmental disasters in our nation's history. The damage to the marine life and health of the Gulf of Mexico was catastrophic and its impact will be felt for generations.
"We rely heavily on the health of our waters in New Jersey. From the fishing industry to tourism, New Jersey needs a clean, safe and healthy coastline. That is why I stand resolute in my commitment to block Atlantic drilling. We can't risk another disaster like the one that devastated the Gulf.
"We need to move toward cleaner and more efficient energy sources and we are making strides toward energy independence. For example, the EPA has set the highest fuel efficiency standards in history by calling for cars to get 54.5 miles to the gallon by 2025. The EPA also established the first-ever national fuel efficiency and emission standards for heavy-duty trucks, vans, and buses built from 2014 to 2018.
"This Earth Day, we should all take time to consider how we can each do our part to improve environment."