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Public Statements

World Environmental Day

Floor Speech

By:
Date:
Location: Washington, DC

Ms. RICHARDSON. Mr. Speaker, today is World Environment Day. Established by the United Nations and now in its 40th year, World Environment Day draws the attention of the international community to the urgent and continuing need to address environmental issues.

A ``green'' economy is one whose growth in income and employment is driven by public and private investments that reduce carbon emissions and pollution, enhance energy and resource efficiency, and prevent the loss of biodiversity and ecosystem services. These investments need to be incentivized and supported by targeted public-private partnerships, policy reforms, and regulation changes.
One of the main engines for economic growth is a higher rate of employment, which both reduces the burden on the economy and gives consumers the purchasing power to sustain a middle-class standard of living through supporting industries. And ``greening the economy'' creates good-paying jobs.

The theme of this year's celebration is ``Green Economy: Does it Include You?''
On behalf of the 7,000,000 residents of the 37th Congressional District of California whom I represent, I am proud to answer this question in the affirmative. The people, businesses, and institutions of the 37th Congressional District of California have taken groundbreaking steps to strengthen and advance America's green economy. For example, the Port of Long Beach's Clean Trucks Program has reduced air pollution from harbor trucks by 90 percent. The City of Long Beach has implemented several initiatives aimed at `greening' its economy, including the Green Business Recognition Program, the Environmental Purchasing Policy, and the foundation of the Green Job Center.
As a member of the Sustainable Energy and Environment Caucus and the Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure, I have worked to advance environmentally sustainable policies that will position our country to compete and win in the global economy of the 21st century. In the 111th Congress, I introduced the Diesel Emissions Reduction Act, DERA, of 2010, which extended a national and State-level grant, rebate and loan program that created jobs and improved the Nation's air quality. This legislation also provides economic incentives to decrease emissions and protect the environment, which will result in significant health benefits for communities across the country. DERA was signed into law by the President on January 4, 2011.

I am also proud to have voted to pass such other important `green' legislation as the American Clean Energy and Security Act, the Home Star Jobs Act, and Renewable Energy Credits and Other Business and Individual Credits Act.
Mr. Speaker, since its inception in 1972 World Environment Day has grown to become one of the main vehicles to focus attention and encourage action by the international community in support of the environment. World Environment Day is a day for people from all walks of life to come together to ensure a cleaner, greener and brighter outlook for themselves and future generations.
Everyone counts in this initiative and everyone can help make a difference. Whether by organizing a neighborhood clean-up, stop using plastic bags and get your community to do the same, planting a tree, walking to work, starting a recycling drive, everyone can contribute to making our communities safer, healthier, and cleaner.

So on World Environment Day, I commend all those individuals and organizations across the Nation and around the world for the contributions they are making and urge all Americans to join them in the worthwhile effort.


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