Congressman Phil Hare (D-IL) today released the following statement on the 40th anniversary of Earth Day.
"Earth Day is an important reminder of our obligation to preserve the planet for future generations. But with the right policies, Earth Day can also be Jobs Day. Economic prosperity and environmental protection can and should go hand in hand. There is no field where their interconnectedness is more apparent than clean energy. Countries around the world are buying hundreds of billions of dollars worth of wind turbines, solar panels, and other green technologies. The United States has an opportunity to be the main manufacturer and exporter of these components. Last week, I introduced the SEAM Act, legislation that would begin to restore our manufacturing base by creating many permanent, high-paying jobs in the clean energy industry. The bill would continue and improve an extremely successful program that provides a 30 percent tax credit for the creation of new manufacturing facilities that produce alternative energy components.
"We must also use Earth Day as an opportunity to recommit ourselves to combating climate change. Our nation's scientists have overwhelmingly declared that climate change is a threat to our way of life and the Defense Department has deemed it a national security risk. We owe it to our children and grandchildren to pursue policies that reduce climate change and get us off of our dependence on Middle Eastern oil."