All blogs filed under Earth Day

Earth Day 2015

Today marks the 45th anniversary of Earth Day. Since the first Earth Day, the United States has made significant strides in improving the quality of our environment: our air, water, land and natural resources. As a U.S. Senator, I strongly believe that we have a duty to preserve the environment not just so we can have clean air to breathe and clean water to drink, but because this world is in our care for our children and our children’s children.

Over forty years ago, Pennsylvanians overwhelmingly ratified the Environmental Rights Amendment to the Commonwealth’s constitution, sending a clear message about our responsibilities as stewards of the Earth. That amendment reads: “The people have a right to clean air, pure water, and to the preservation of the natural scenic, historic and aesthetic values of the environment. Pennsylvania's public natural resources are the common property of all the people, including generations yet to come. As trustee of these resources, the Commonwealth shall conserve and maintain them for the benefit of all the people.”

We can all draw inspiration from a fellow Pennsylvanian who taught the nation that promoting environmental stewardship is an integral component of public service. Rachel Louise Carson was born on May 27, 1907 in Springdale, Pennsylvania. She inspired an environmental movement through her 1962 book, Silent Spring.

In light of her work, it was my pleasure to co-sponsor a resolution with Senator Cardin and Senator Mikulski honoring the life of Rachel Carson. Ms. Carson dedicated her life to environmental stewardship, and her work serves to remind us that we all have a greater responsibility to care for this planet – both for the enrichment of our own lives and the enrichment of those to come.

Earth Day serves as a reminder of the obligation we each possess to care for and conserve this world. As we celebrate this day, may we also take a moment to consider the beauty and wonder of the natural world around us. For in the words of Rachel Carson, “It is a wholesome and necessary thing for us to turn again to the earth and in the contemplation of her beauties to know the sense of wonder and humility.”  

Earth Day

Recognizing the 40th Anniversary of Earth Day

Yesterday marked the 40th anniversary of Earth Day.  The first Earth Day in 1970 brought into sharp focus the need to protect our environment and led to the introduction of key Federal legislation such as the Clean Water Act, Clean Air Act, Surface Mining Control and Reclamation Act, and the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act.  These bills were critical to addressing many environmental issues in Pennsylvania including abandoned mines, acid mine drainage, power plant and industry emissions, and hazardous waste disposal.

So, as we celebrate the 40th anniversary of Earth Day, let us reflect on the great strides American has made in improving the quality of our air, water, and land.  But let’s also take a moment to recognize that the job is not done.  The remaining challenges are many.  The most daunting of which is climate change.  We must move forward with climate and energy legislation that will put us on a path that reduces pollution, ends our unsustainable reliance on foreign energy, and creates new, clean energy jobs.  In doing so, we can help ensure that our children and grandchildren will always have a clean environment, a robust economy, and a secure Nation.

You can read a copy of my statement for the record here.

Clean Energy
Earth Day
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