WASHINGTON (RPRN) 04/22/09-Today I join millions of people around the globe in celebrating the 39th annual Earth Day.Â Preserving our planet is critical to ensuring a safe and bright future for future generations, and proper environmental stewardship is a fundamental moral issue.Â I am committed to working with the Congress, along with President Obama, to pass legislation that will reverse the failed policies of the last eight years so that we protect our natural heritage, combat global warming, and preserve our planet for future generations.
When I first became Speaker of the House in 2007, I made energy independence and global warming my flagship issue.Â President Obama has also signaled his commitment to promoting this issue.Â In his Inaugural Address, he called on us to “harness the sun, and the wind, and soil to fuel our cars and run our factories.”Â Congress is responding to that call with swift action on comprehensive energy and climate change legislation.
In the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, the Congress included more than $30 billion for clean energy, including investments in renewable energy production andÂ efficientÂ energy transmission through aÂ smarter and greener power grid. Â These initiatives are vital so that we can prevent any future damage to our environment and world by developing new energy technologies and replacing fossil fuels with clean and renewable energy sources.
On March 30th, I was proud to join President Obama when he signed the Omnibus Public Land Management Act, the most significant conservation measure to be enacted by Congress in the last 15 years. Â This bill creates more than 2 million new acres of wilderness, including more than 700,000 acres inÂ our home state ofÂ California. Â The law protects 1,000 miles of riversâ€”a 50 percent increase in the wild and scenic river systemâ€”and establishes new national trails, national parks, national conservation areas, and a new national monument.
Yesterday, I was pleased to meet with climate coalition leaders, including representatives from agriculture, business, faith, and the environment, as we discussed the importance of clean energy legislation. Â The Congress is working on a comprehensive solution to global warming, and I am committed to moving clean energy legislation this year that will create jobs, improve our national security, and reduce global warming.
Representative Henry Waxman (D-CA), Chairman of the House Committee on Energy and Commerce, along with Representative Edward Markey (D-MA), Chairman of the House Select Committee on Energy Independence and Global Warming and Chairman of the Energy and Commerce Subcommittee on Energy and the Environment, have released a draft of a carbon “CapÂ and Trade” bill for reducing carbon emissions. Â This week, the House Energy and Commerce Committee is holding hearings with more than 50 witnesses, including former Vice President Al Gore, to discuss this drafted American Clean Energy and Security Act of 2009.
With the future of our countryâ€”and indeed our entire planetâ€”possibly at stake, now is the time to turn our collective concerns about global warming into concerted action. Â We must be sure to protect our planet and preserve our nation’s natural treasures for our children and grandchildren.
Please feel free to forward this information to your family and friends. Â To learn more about these efforts, to express your views, or to sign up for email updates, please visit my Web site.
Member of Congress