Congressman Adam Smith (D-WA) made the following statement in honor of Earth Day:

“Today we recognize not only the 39th annual celebration of Earth Day, but also a unique moment in our country’s history to make significant changes to the way we treat the environment. Over the last few years we have seen a ground swell of support around greening efforts and legislation to reverse and reduce the human effects on the environment. The evidence of climate change is real, the effects significant, and the impacts worsening. I am committed to conserving our natural resources and protecting our environment for future generations.  The time to act is now.

 We have come a long way in recognizing our responsibilities as stewards of the environment, but we have much more work to do. In Congress we are taking this issue seriously.  If we look at protecting our environment as an opportunity to build a clean energy economy, we can create millions of clean energy jobs, improve our national security by reducing our dependency on foreign oil, and develop renewable and safe energy sources like wind, solar and geothermal.

Protecting the environment is not just the responsibility of governments and private industries; it is the responsibility of individuals as well. By integrating energy efficient behaviors into our everyday lives, such as turning off lights or unplugging unused appliances, or simply recycling, we can collectively have a large scale impact on our environment and in conserving our resources. This Earth Day let us remember that the responsibility rests with no single entity or individual, but with all of us. As Congress works to do its part and private industries to do theirs, let us all remember that we all have a stake in protecting our environment for generations to come.”