Tucson, Ariz.– Rep. Raúl M. Grijalva today released the following statement in honor of Earth Day:
“Today is a day to remember the tremendous progress we’ve made in the past 40 years of environmental legislation and protection. It’s also a day to remember that we have much more work to do to really bring this country into the twenty-first century.
Several important priorities were discussed by the House of Representatives in the last Congress that need to be brought back to the table. I sponsored the Climate Change Safeguards for Natural Resources Conservation Act because we need to assess and address the impacts of climate change and ocean acidification on our natural resources. I added an amendment to the CLEAR Act, which passed the House in 2010, to create a first-time comprehensive leasing system for renewable energy projects on public land. The current ad hoc system of special permits and easements has led to a large application backlog, and we need to make clean energy investments easier for both our economy and our environment.
Our public lands are one of our greatest treasures, and we need to treat them as such. Just hoping they don’t degrade over time isn’t a meaningful land management strategy. We need to start planning now to protect the quality of the land itself, maximize the potential for clean energy production, and ensure that future generations are able to enjoy the same natural wonders we do.
Earth Day is a reminder that this planet is all we have. We make the decisions that can throw hurricane patterns out of balance, or mean that tree populations suffer from drought, or make endangered species disappear. We don’t have to like this responsibility, but we do have to learn to live with it. There’s no excuse for handing over the planet to our children in worse shape than we found it. If today makes us think a little harder about that, then let’s make every day Earth Day.”