WASHINGTON – House Democratic Whip Steny Hoyer (MD) released the following statement today in celebration of the 33rd anniversary of Earth Day, which will be celebrated Tuesday, April 22nd:
“Earth Day is an opportunity to reflect on the innumerable gifts this planet gives us every day. Hurrying between the comforts of a car to the bustle of the office, it’s easy to forget the beauty of the natural world and how important its health is to our lifestyle. It’s also easy to ignore the impact on Earth of that same lifestyle, as well as how it can negatively impact our children’s future.
“The Democratic Party has a strong record of striking the balance between protecting the environment while promoting free enterprise and building a modern society. Unfortunately, the Republican Party finds it easier to ignore the importance of this balance.
“The Bush Administration has taken this tendency to a whole new level of conscious disrespect for the need to protect the environment to ensure a happy and healthy future for our children. Instead of encouraging reasonable and responsible policies to protect the Earth for our children, the Bush Administration has pursued an assault on the environment by land, air and sea.
“President Bush promised to be a steward for our environment, but his record shows that his priorities lie more with special interests and corporate polluters. President Bush’s administration, with the support of Congressional Republicans, has pushed to roll back environmental regulations, remove more than 20 million acres of wetland and forest area from protection, exempt industries from the Clean Air Act, lessen pollution standards for drinking water, and shift the costs of toxic waste clean-up from polluters to taxpayers.
“It’s common sense that reasonable and targeted strategies to reduce pollution and toxic emissions, and safeguard our wilderness areas will help keep our environment healthy for our children and grandchildren. On this Earth Day, I hope that President Bush will seriously reconsider his Administration’s environmental policies before they lead to long-term damage.”