"Today is Earth Day -- a special day to learn about our natural resources,
celebrate our achievements in protecting the environment, and push ourselves
to do better.
"We must learn to live as though each day is Earth Day. Each of us must take personal responsibility for protecting and improving the environment. Many of our day-to-day choices can bring real environmental benefits: recycling, buying energy efficient appliances, or choosing fuel-efficient transportation.
"But it isn't enough to rely on individual responsibility. Businesses and government must also work together to develop better ways of protecting the environment and improving efficiency. American ingenuity has produced many remarkable new technologies -- some of which need a little push to get them off the shelf and into the marketplace.
"Government must also do its part. Unfortunately, rather than exploring new and better ways to protect our health and safety, the Bush Administration is rolling back more than 30 years of bipartisan progress on environmental protection. The Republicans' insistence on drilling for oil in Alaska, protecting polluters, and their disregard for our nation's parks and public spaces are intolerable examples of how quickly progress can fade away.
"As we mark Earth Day, we should rededicate ourselves to enforce, not weaken, pollution controls on power plants. We must pledge to protect great American resources such as the Alaska National Wildlife Refuge, not risk them forever for the sake of a six-month supply of oil. We must work for passage of comprehensive energy legislation that promotes reliable sources of energy, not one that weakens consumer protections and exempts oil and gas drilling sites from pollution controls.
"We must not go back. We must go forward -- working to reduce, not increase, the pollution and erosion of our precious natural resources that must be safeguarded for our children and our nation."
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