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EPA Stresses the Value of Innovation & Economics of Environmental Restoration

EPA's Jackson stresses the economic and community value of green and environmental innovation & economic value of environmental restoration.

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The environment is the base upon which we build businesses, house and care for our families, and build stable economic and community infrastructures. The US EPA plays a major role in HOW we conduct this everyday business of the people.

U.S. Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Lisa P. Jackson discussed the agency’s seven key priorities and the strong connection between environmental protection and economic prosperity in a speech at the National Press Club March 8, 2010.

“...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 lifetimes…” Following recent remarks by Jackson to the National Association of Regulatory Utility Commissioners, Jackson points out that the new administration is taking a different tact with environmental restoration, "Building strong, working partnerships with the states is one of my top priorities for this EPA. It’s time for us to hit the reset button. For years, states have led the way on critical environmental issues. In some cases you formed broad coalitions and regional partnerships. But all too often you had to go it alone – typically without federal partnership, and sometimes with aggressive federal opposition. I remember from my own time in New Jersey how challenging that was. But I also know that it sparked creativity and leadership – and we need every bit of that today.

"Right now investors and business owners are asking for reliable water infrastructure and steady utility prices to grow local economies. Communities are demanding stronger efforts to protect them and their children from environmental health risks – and rightfully so."

“It’s time to put to rest the notion that economic growth and environmental protection are incompatible," she stressed. "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 world…”

“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…”

Environmental Protection with 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 jobs…”

“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…”

“...the economic costs of unchecked climate change will be orders of magnitude 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…’“

“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…”

SOURCE: EPA



Edited by Carolyn Allen, owner/editor of California Green Solutions
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