WASHINGTON, DC – House Majority Whip James E. Clyburn today released the following statement on the 40thAnniversary of Earth Day.
“Earth Day continues to unite communities of diverse ethnicity, faith traditions, and nationalities around a common purpose to ensure that our natural resources sustain and foster current and future generations.
“As Chair of the Democratic Faith Working Group, I believe that we have a moral obligation to be good stewards of the environment. We must also remember to protect those populations who are disproportionately vulnerable to the dramatic shifts in our climate and the changing nature of our energy infrastructure.
“As we celebrate the 40th anniversary of Earth Day, it is important to remember the commitment Democratic leadership demonstrated in moving this Congress and our country in a new direction. Since 2007, we’ve made strides in greening the Capitol and launching a clean energy economy that will create millions of jobs that can’t be outsourced, lower energy costs for American families and businesses, and reduce our dependence on foreign oil.”
Key Accomplishments include:
- Through the Recovery Act of 2009, our nation has made historic and job-creating investments in a clean energy future, estimated to create more than 700,000 jobs, nearly double renewable electricity, and save consumers up to $98 a year.
- In 2009, the House has also passed clean energy jobs legislation that reduces the carbon emissions from major U.S. sources of 17 percent by 2020, keeps America number one by making our country a world leader in new energy technologies, and preserves the American manufacturing base, while protecting consumers.
- Greening the Capitol – In 2007, under the leadership of Speaker Nancy Pelosi the House started a program to make its operations a model of sustainability-setting aggressive targets, including reducing energy use by 50 percent over 10 years. Since the program’s inception, the House has reduced its carbon footprint by 74 percent, it purchases wind energy to meet electricity needs and burns natural gas at the Capitol Power Plant.
- In 2007, Congress enacted a landmark energy law to increase vehicle fuel efficiency for the first time in more than 3 decades to 35 miles per gallon in 2020.