In observance of Earth Day on Friday, April 22nd, Sen. Tom Carper (D-Del.), chairman of the Senate Subcommittee on Clean Air and Nuclear Safety and co-chair of the Senate Recycling Caucus, discusses smart investments our nation can make to simultaneously strengthen our economy and protect our environment both in Delaware and across the country.
Read Senator Carper's statement below:
"As we observe this 41st Earth Day, we are reminded of the progress we have made to help clean up our environment and better protect our natural resources. While we have made significant strides in the right direction, we still have a lot more work to do. As a member of the United States Senate Committee charged with protecting our environment, I work every day with my colleagues to try to address challenges to our planet such as pollution and climate change. For me, every day is Earth Day.
"Fortunately, some of the best ways to clean up our air and water, as well as protect our health and our planet, are also the best way to bring jobs and prosperity back to this country. Investments in safeguarding our environment have also boosted our economy here at home. To me, this sounds like a pretty smart way to use our limited resources – finding ways to improve our economy and improve our environment at the same time, with the same federal dollar.
"Our economy is already gaining jobs from investments in renewable energy. Through the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, the Department of Energy invested $80 billion in clean energy projects that lead to $150 billion in private sector investment. These clean energy provisions are expected to create more than 700,000 jobs by the end of 2012. That's a remarkable return on our initial investment.
"Up and down the First State, we are making similar smart investments in both our economy and our environment – from harnessing the power of wind off of Rehoboth's shores to create clean, renewable energy to building plug-in electric vehicles that are estimated to get nearly 100 miles-per-gallon at Wilmington's Fisker Automotive plant.
"It's important to see this leadership from the federal and local government, but there is so much that all of us as individuals and as families can do that will make a real difference for our planet and for our health and well-being. If we incorporate habits like recycling or traveling to work by carpool, public transportation or bike, our families dramatically save energy and reduce our carbon footprints. And doing so not only improves our environment, but also our health – something that's good for all of us. I hope that this Earth Day inspires you to join me in treating every day like it is Earth Day. Together, our individual choices can make a huge difference in protecting and preserving our planet."