| ||U.S. Environmental
Protection Agency (EPA) Administrator Lisa Jackson spoke last month
at the National Press Club about EPA's progress and explored the
challenges and opportunities of leading an environmental agency in
a time of economic challenge and technological innovation.
Stated Jackson, "If we all do our part, Americans 40 years from
today will look back and remember this generation as one that
helped build a better future for everyone."
Here are a few excerpts from her address which are worth noting
on Earth Day. A link to the full address is shown below.
- "Well-conceived, effectively implemented environmental
protection is good for economic growth. Let me repeat that:
environmental protection is good for economic
- "Poison in the ground means poison in the economy. A weak
environment means a weak consumer base. And unhealthy air means an
unhealthy atmosphere for investments. But a clean, green healthy
community is a better place to buy a home and raise a family, it's
more competitive in the race to attract new businesses, and it has
the foundations it needs for prosperity..."
- "[Environmental protection] creates a need - in other words, a
market for clean technology - and then drives innovation and
invention - in other words, new products for that market. This is
our convenient truth: smart environmental protection creates
- "Often times the same offices that are blasting out press
releases on the overreach of faceless EPA bureaucrats are also
asking those same bureaucrats for help. That's a textbook example
of irony and it's all too evident in today's politics. When it
comes to people's health, everyone wants strong environmental
- "In the last 30 years, emissions of six dangerous air
pollutants that cause smog, acid rain, lead poisoning and more
decreased 54 percent. At the same time, gross domestic product grew
by 126 percent. That means we made huge reductions in air pollution
at the same time that more cars went on the road, more power plants
went on line and more buildings went up. The question is, how does
that happen? The answer is innovation..."
- "Innovation is the "sweet spot" where our economic and
environmental interests meet. It's where business leaders and
conservationists can come together to hash out solutions -
solutions that have filled American history with environmental
achievements and helped us lead the global economy. America is home
to a world-leading environmental technology industry. By
conservative estimates, in 2007 environmental firms and small
businesses in the US generated $282 billion in revenues and $40
billion in exports, and supported 1.6 million American
- "The question we face now is, what can we at EPA do to protect
our environment, strengthen our communities and foster prosperity?
One of the clear answers is abandoning the old disputes and working
in partnership on new innovations..."
- "...the economic costs of unchecked climate change will be
orders of magnitude higher for the next generation than it would be
for us to take action today. I can't in good conscience support any
measure that passes that burden on to my two sons, and to their
children. I find it hard to believe that any parent could say to
their child, 'We're going to wait to act...'"
- "Consumers want to know that their products don't have hidden
health and environmental costs. Companies must respond to parents
who refuse to buy bottles with BPA in them, or that leech dangerous
chemicals into drinking water. Industry can try to resist and
ignore EPA, but I know - and they know - that they resist the
forces of the green marketplace at their own peril..."
- "It's time to put to rest the notion that economic growth and
environmental protection are incompatible. It's time to finally
dismiss this false choice. We need a new approach that plays to
America's greatest strengths of ingenuity, invention and
innovation. We need to reclaim leadership in the development of new
products that protect our health and our environment. And we need
to capitalize on the growing green marketplace here and around the
- "...ever-expanding economic opportunity is not possible without
sustainability. Without protection for the water, air and land that
people depend on, we can only go so far. Without clean energy, the
global economy will be running on empty within our
- "This is about rising to meet our most urgent environmental and
economic challenges - not shrinking from them with the excuse that
it's just too hard. That's never been a good enough answer for the
American people. At no point in our history has any problem been
solved by 'waiting another year to act' or burying our heads in the
sand. Progress is made by seeing - in our greatest challenges - all
the possibilities for building a healthier, more prosperous future,
and bringing the best we have to offer to the table. It's what
we've done before. It's what we have to do again today. It's not
something we can leave for tomorrow..."
full speech is available here:
Click on the image to the right to see the full speech