"Will anyone be eligible to hold and trade carbon dioxide allowances and offsets under EPA's cap and trade program?"Jackson covered a range of issues from mountaintop removal to global warming. We agree with EPA on many of the issues that Administrator Jackson covered today. We particularly agree with her comments about environmental protection creating jobs through innovation. But we oppose mountaintop removal and believe EPA should deny water permits for this practice. We also oppose expanded offshore oil and gas drilling.
Well-conceived, effectively implemented environmental protection is good for economic growth. Let me repeat that: environmental protection is good for economic growth. Don’t get me wrong – environmental regulations are not free. But the money that’s spent is an investment in our country – and one that pays for itself.
First, environmental protection makes us healthier. It eliminates contributors to costly and often deadly diseases like asthma, cancer and heart disease. When the air is dirty, or the water is contaminated, and people are getting sick, those kinds of health costs are multiplied by millions of families. And they’re a burden to small businesses trying to provide health care to their workers. Good environmental protection is critical to our health, and because of that it’s critical to our economy.
Second, environmental protection makes our communities more prosperous and our workforce more productive. Those of you with kids in college will understand the words of man who said to me, “Businesses come to communities like parents come to colleges. They look at the environment to make sure it’s health. This is something we see all the time in our ongoing work on environmental justice. The idea that environmental degradation is an obstacle to economic prosperity is a pillar of the environmental justice movement.
This is our convenient truth: smart environmental protection creates jobs. So – we all want a clean environment. And we all want a strong economy. 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. New environmental protections. New innovations. New jobs.This is the direction we are moving in 2010 as well.