Statement from NYSDC Chair June O’Neill On Earth Day

NEW YORK, NY – As millions of people across the globe celebrate the 39th annual Earth Day today, June O’Neill, Chair of the New York State Democratic Committee, issued the following statement:

“Nearly four decades ago, the first Earth Day marked the birth of a new national environmental consciousness paving the way for landmark policies that protect public health and preserve our environment for future generations.

We have made important gains. But for too long, Washington and Albany have been held captive by the special interests. They turned a blind eye to the energy crises and to the gathering threat of climate change that is affecting people here in New York State.

President Obama has given us a new reason to celebrate this Earth Day: his Administration has committed to a comprehensive energy plan that will generate millions of new clean energy jobs, break our dependence on foreign oil, reduce deadly pollution and finally tackle global warming and its potentially catastrophic effects.  These jobs will stay here in New York and can’t be shipped overseas.

And right here in at home, our Governor, David Paterson, has been a champion on environmental issues. Today, he signed the Better Bottle Bill, which will create reduce litter, boost recycling, and create jobs, into law.

Democrats have been leaders on these issues, and they continue to push for change in Washington and in New York. April 22nd will always be a day to recommit ourselves to a healthier, cleaner planet; but this year, in the throes of some very difficult economic times, Earth Day has a renewed sense of purpose. Today is a reminder of the opportunity we have to reinvest in the American worker, make the United States a leader in the global energy industry, and increase our energy independence.”

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