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Earth Day Special: Bush, Dean, Reid, Schakowsky, Lipinski, Emanuel

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FYI.....I participated in the very first Earth Day, when I was a college freshman......

THE WHITE HOUSE

Office of the Press Secretary

(West Sacramento, California)

_________________________________________________________________________

For Immediate Release April 22, 2006

Earth Day 2006: Developing New Transportation Technology

Today, President Bush Traveled To West Sacramento, California, And Marked Earth Day By Discussing His Agenda To Help Develop Advanced Transportation Technology. On Earth Day, Americans celebrate our country's natural beauty and renew our commitment to be good stewards of our air, water, and land. As part of that commitment, the President has proposed the Advanced Energy Initiative (AEI) to accelerate research into cleaner, alternative energy sources.

Ø The President Toured The California Fuel Cell Partnership, Which Is Advancing The Most Promising Long-Run Alternative To Gasoline – Hydrogen. Bringing together auto makers, energy companies, fuel cell technology companies, and Federal and State agencies, the Partnership is showing that hydrogen is the fuel of the future. Hydrogen can power a car that uses no gasoline and produces virtually no air pollution or greenhouse gas emissions. The Partnership has helped place more than 100 hydrogen-powered vehicles on California roads, and the fueling station the President visited today has filled vehicles with hydrogen almost 6,000 times.

Earth Day 2006: The President's Commitment To A Cleaner Environment

The President Is Pursuing Common-Sense Policies To Conserve The Environment. By focusing on results and listening to citizens who know the land the best, the Administration has compiled a strong environmental record. This Earth Day, America's air is cleaner, our water is purer, and our land is better cared for than when the President took office.

Ø America's Air Is Cleaner. The President has set and enforced tough standards for air quality. Since the President took office, air pollution has dropped by more than 12 percent. The Administration is implementing new clean air rules that will reduce power-plant pollution by approximately 70 percent and cut pollution from diesel fuel engines by more than 90 percent. This includes the first-ever national cap on mercury emissions from power plants.

Ø America's Water Is Purer. Two years ago, the President set a goal to restore, improve, or protect at least 3 million acres by 2009. Today, the Administration is more than halfway toward meeting that goal. So far, 1.8 million acres of wetlands have been restored, improved, or protected. The President is also taking action to protect our oceans, coasts, and Great Lakes, by implementing a new oceans policy to help end overfishing, rebuild fisheries, conserve coastal and marine habitats, and promote education and undersea exploration.

Ø America's Land Is Better Protected. Under the Farm Bill the President signed in 2002, funding for conservation programs increased by 80 percent. Over 10 years, nearly $40 billion is being provided to help farmers and ranchers protect wildlife habitats and other natural resources. Through the President's Healthy Forest Initiative, we have cleared away dangerous underbrush and reduced the risk of catastrophic fire on more than 15 million acres of land. By the end of this summer, another five million acres will have been treated.

Ø America's National Parks Are Improved. Upon taking office, the President pledged to spend $4.9 billion dollars over five years to reduce the maintenance backlog in national parks such as Yosemite, Death Valley, and Joshua Tree. With his budget this year, the President is keeping this promise.

The Achievements Of The Past Five Years Are Part Of A Larger Record Of Success. In the 36 years since the first Earth Day, air pollution in America has been reduced by 50 percent, and over the same period, our economy has tripled in size. This record proves that environmental protection and economic prosperity can go together. And technology is what makes that possible.

The Advanced Energy Initiative – Pursuing Cleaner, More Efficient Energy Technologies

The Advanced Energy Initiative (AEI) Will Help Break America's Dependence On Foreign Sources Of Oil By Developing Cleaner, More Reliable Energy Sources. Since the President took office, we have spent nearly $10 billion to develop cleaner, cheaper, and more reliable energy sources. That funding has put us on the verge of remarkable breakthroughs. The AEI will accelerate breakthroughs and transform the way we power cars and trucks by investing aggressively in three promising technologies: hydrogen, hybrid vehicles, and ethanol. By researching and developing these technologies, America will meet the President's goal of replacing more than 75 percent of oil imports from the Middle East by 2025.

Ø The President's Hydrogen Fuel Initiative Is Helping Move Hydrogen Technology From The Labroom To The Showroom. In his 2003 State of the Union Address, President Bush pledged $1.2 billion over five years for hydrogen research and development. So far, more than $600 million has been provided to these efforts, and the President's 2007 budget will provide another $289 million.

The Hydrogen Fuel Initiative Is Producing Results. Since 2003, researchers have used Federal funding to double the lifetime of the hydrogen fuel cell stacks that power cars and to cut the cost of manufacturing hydrogen fuel cells in half. These advances are helping to make it possible to begin moving from a hydrocarbon economy to a hydrogen economy.

Ø Hybrid Vehicles Can Help Reduce Oil Consumption Now. Hybrid vehicles have both a gasoline-powered engine and an electric battery. These vehicles can travel about twice as far on a gallon of fuel as gasoline-only vehicles. Because hybrid vehicles use less gasoline, they will help make America less dependent on oil, and they emit less pollution and greenhouse gases. In 2005, more than 200,000 hybrids were sold in America – a record number.

· The Administration Is Taking Steps To Encourage More Drivers To Buy Hybrids. The Energy Bill signed by the President in August 2005 created a tax credit of up to $3,400 for hybrid purchasers.

· The Administration Is Supporting The Development Of A New Generation Of "Plug-In" Hybrids. "Plug-in hybrids" could be recharged in a standard electrical outlet. When a "plug-in hybrid" is started, the battery would be fully charged. This could allow drivers to go 40 miles on electricity alone, allowing most Americans to do their daily commute without burning a drop of gasoline. The President's FY 2007 Budget includes $31 million – a 27-percent increase over current levels – to speed up research into battery technologies.

Ø The President Supports Ethanol As A Promising Alternative To Gasoline. Most ethanol is produced from corn and blended with gasoline to produce a clean, efficient fuel. New technology is making it possible to make ethanol from wood chips, stalks, switch grass, and other natural materials. To speed development, the President's FY 2007 budget proposes $150 million for research into homegrown fuels – a 65 percent increase over current levels. Our goal is to help new forms of ethanol become competitive with corn-based ethanol within six years so that more American drivers can choose ethanol over gasoline.
# # #
from Howard Dean



DNC Chairman Howard Dean Recognizes 36th Annual Earth Day

Washington, DC - Democratic National Committee Chairman Howard Dean
issued the following statement recognizing the 36th annual Earth Day
celebration:

"Today, the world marks the 36th annual Earth Day celebration. While
much has been done over the last three decades to improve the quality of
our air, our water and our earth, we must and can do more to protect our
entire planet. The Bush Administration's policies have threatened our
wildlife, ignored the important issue of climate change, and let
polluters regulate themselves.

"The Administration has ignored their own scientists and politicized
science to further their right-wing agenda. Democrats believe we should
be strengthening and improving our environmental regulations, not
rolling back and gutting our clean air and water standards. Democrats
remain committed to passing on a clean and healthy environment to future
generations and are united in our belief that we must be good
stewards of the earth."

********************************************************###
from Harry Reid


REID: EARTH DAY IS AN OPPORTUNITY FOR BUSH TO CHANGE COURSE

Washington, DC—As we celebrate Earth Day, Senate Democratic Leader Harry Reid today released the following statement on the Bush Administration’s flawed priorities and failed policies that have allowed gas prices to skyrocket and America to remain dependent on foreign oil.

“Earth Day is normally a wonderful time to celebrate environmental accomplishments. This year, with gas prices skyrocketing around the country and Americans struggling just to fill their cars and go to work, it sadly highlights the failure of the Bush Administration’s energy policies. Now is time for a real change, and for a new direction. The Bush Administration’s energy failure is not about politics, it’s about priorities.

“It’s time we put aside partisan differences and do what is best for the American people. That is why Democrats have called on President Bush to immediately convene a bipartisan national energy summit to solve the problem of America’s dangerous dependence on foreign oil and offered solutions to lower gas prices. Today, as we celebrate Earth Day, I hope Republicans will join Democrats and do what is best for our country.��?

######################################################################
from Rep. Jan Schakowsky (D-Ill.)

SCHAKOWSKY CALLS FOR ACTION TO SLOW CLIMATE CHANGE, PROTECT GREAT LAKES ON EARTH DAY

WASHINGTON, DC -- U.S. Representative Jan Schakowsky today released the below statement calling for President Bush and Congress to take action to slow climate change and clean up the Great Lakes this Earth Day:

This Earth Day, dramatic environmental changes remind us of the immediate threat climate change is posing to our health and safety. The polar ice caps are melting at an unprecedented rate, threatening coastal communities that are home to billions. Violent storms off our shores are increasing in intensity and regularity. Whole ecosystems are migrating north, threatening regional economies and cultures.

President Bush has let industry dictate his environmental policy. This year, the President has proposed giving polluters more leeway by cutting funding for clean air and water programs and delaying controls on mercury emissions.

The President has failed to meet his commitment to restore our Great Lakes. President Bush has underfunded essential Great Lakes clean-up programs, failed to enforce the Clean Water Act, and left the door open to dangerous oil and gas drilling. As we know from the many beach closings we experience each summer, there is an urgent need for President Bush to protect the world's largest freshwater resources.

When it comes to climate change, this Administration has placed more credibility in the prose of fiction writer Michael Crichton than in the research of leading scientists. In fact, some scientists within the Bush Administration who have documented climate change claim that they were silenced by political appointees. President Bush has endangered us all by making a mockery out of such an urgent problem.

States and cities are stepping up to act where the Bush Administration has not, establishing cap and trade programs, working towards carbon neutrality, and investing in renewable energy sources. We all share an obligation to promote conservation and to reduce our environmental footprint.

This Earth Day, the United States must reclaim the mantle of conservation and environmentalism, finding aggressive ways to slow climate change and encouraging developing countries to follow course. If the Bush Administration continues to put politics before science, all of humanity will pay a price.

-END-#################################################

from Rep. Dan Lipinski (D-Ill.)


Congressman Lipinski Commemorates Earth Day 2006

CHICAGO, IL - Congressman Lipinski today made the following statement:

"On Saturday, April 22, the country will celebrate the 36th Earth Day. On April 22, 1970, the first Earth Day, 25 million people joined around the country to demand a safer, cleaner and healthier world. The impact of that first Earth Day was astonishing. In rapid succession, and with large, bipartisan majorities, Congress passed the Clean Air Act, the Clean Water Act, the Safe Drinking Water Act, the Endangered Species Act, and the Superfund Act.

Thirty-six years later, our air is cleaner, our drinking water is safer, our rivers no longer catch fire and the bald eagle has recovered from the brink of extinction. Yet, despite our many advances, our environment is still threatened by a range of problems, including global climate change, energy dependence on unsustainable fossil fuels, and loss of biodiversity.

I strongly support a comprehensive energy policy, which would help solve many of the environmental problems that we face. By increasing our use of ethanol, solar power, and other renewable energy sources, while developing cleaner technologies to use our domestic fossil fuels, such as clean coal, we can strengthen our national security, improve our air quality, and contribute to a better environment. The hydrogen powered car, with its high fuel mileage and zero emission rate, is just one example of the products under development that will help increase our energy independence. With the American can-do spirit and technological know-how, we can revolutionize how we use and produce energy.

I am also working with others in Congress to protect our land and water resources. I have continuously supported preservation of the Arctic Wildlife Refuge (ANWR), one of our most magnificent and rare unspoiled ecosystems, from oil and gas drilling. Closer to home, I have been involved in protecting and preserving our Great Lakes. The largest freshwater system in the world, the Great Lakes are a unique and valuable resource, one that helps power our economy and sustain our environment.

Growing up in the 1970s, I learned the importance of being proactive in protecting the environment. This year, as we celebrate the 36th Earth Day, we must all rededicate ourselves to moving towards energy independence and protecting our environment for our children and grandchildren. The future is in our hands."

1 Comment

Whatever happened to Project SOAR (Save Our American Resources)? I recall as a youth in the '70s, volunteering with my scout troop to help clean up parks, etc., and plant trees in a state park. This was around the time of the Clean Air Act and all of that. Also about the same time they started the Deep Tunnel Project. We could use some programs like this today, so our kids learn to value the things around them that can be taken for granted.

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Lynn Sweet

Lynn Sweet is a columnist and the Washington Bureau Chief for the Chicago Sun-Times.

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