Hoyer: Earth Day 2006 Demands a Clear-Eyed Assessment of Environmental Dangers, and an Acceptance of Our Responsibility
House Democratic Whip Steny H. Hoyer (MD) released the following statement today in recognition of the 36th Anniversary of Earth Day, which will be observed on Saturday, April 22:
"On Earth Day, every one of us is reminded of our special obligation to take care of the world entrusted to us. To keep our air and water clean, it is absolutely vital that we invest in developing renewable forms of energy. While the beauty of a clean environment is reason enough to take action, environmentally-friendly sources of energy are also crucial to our national security.
"Unfortunately, on this Earth Day, it is clear that we are not taking the steps necessary to achieve a cleaner, safer and healthier environment.
"In fact, under the Bush Administration and Republican-controlled Congress, we have actually taken demonstrable and dangerous steps backward when it comes to the environment. The Administration's 2007 Budget, for example, proposes $25 billion in cuts to environmental programs over the next five years - dramatically cutting programs designed to ensure clean and drinkable water, to preserve and conserve open space, and to help family farmers protect and enhance natural resources. Regrettably, the Bush Administration also has worked to rollback the Clean Air Act, the Clean Water Act, the Safe Drinking Water Act and the National Environmental Policy Act.
"Furthermore, the Administration continues to pursue a 19th century energy policy that emphasizes increased reliance on drilling and dependence on fossil fuels - rather than aggressively pursuing the 21st century energy policy that we need. In lieu of federal action, more than half of our state governments are embracing programs designed to lower greenhouse-gas emissions and reduce dependence on fossil fuels. The United States should work toward finding an economically sound, environmentally friendly way to reduce global warming and diminish America's dangerous dependence on foreign oil.
"The health of our environment is a direct result of our commitment to its protection and preservation. We must do better to produce energy more efficiently, clean up our waterways, promote wildlife conservation, and protect our drinking water supplies.
"On this Earth Day, I urge all citizens to join with me in striving to do better in our personal efforts to preserve the environment and calling upon the Administration to reassess its values by providing the focus and resources necessary to preserve our planet for future generations."