Engel Honors Earth Day

Westchester, NY—Congressman Eliot Engel, a leading member of the House Energy and Commerce Committee, penned the following letter in honor of Earth Day 2017:

Dear Friends: 

Two years ago, on the 45th anniversary of earth day, I stated that climate change can no longer be denied. But since taking office, I believe the President and his Administration have fostered an agenda that ignores the impacts of climate change, putting our natural resources, wildlife, and public health at risk.

Within his first 100 days in office, the President has signed an executive action advancing the Keystone and Dakota Access pipelines, which would transport tar sands and crude oil under our pristine lands. He signed an executive order which seeks to roll back the Clean Power Plan, which was instituted to reduce our country's carbon footprint to help meet our global climate commitments. The President has also continued to say he plans to withdraw the U.S. from the historic Paris Agreement. I believe this act would do nothing more than spurn the global community and vacate our spot as a world leader on climate change. He has also proposed slashing the budget for the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, which is the government's premier climate science agency, and has opened the door to weakening fuel efficiency standards adopted during the Obama Administration. 

But I also believe the President's maneuvering to weaken our environmental protections doesn't end there. He has appointed Scott Pruitt, the former Attorney General of Oklahoma who is on record for suing the EPA 14 times, to head that vital agency. Mr. Pruitt has since advocated for leaving the Paris Agreement, lifting environmental regulations that safeguard our water and air, and has belittled the effects of carbon emissions on climate change. 

Because of these challenges we face, Earth Day remains as relevant as ever. It encourages countless acts by dedicated individuals to improve the quality of our communities, parks, waterways, and private and public lands. It honors the tremendous growth of planet-saving renewable energies, and the millions of jobs they provide to Americans. And it also provides an opprotunity for people around the world to focus on providing future generations with a livable, sustainable, and ecologically rich planet Earth. 

As your Congressman and a leading member on the House Energy and Commerce Committee which oversees aspects of the environment, I have fought tooth and nail to preserve the laws that keep our air clean, our waters pure, and our land green. And whether it's working with the Army Corps to improve estuaries in Mamaroneck, supporting projects to improve Van Cortlandt Park in the Bronx, or helping to designate Yonkers as an Urban Wildlife Refuge Partnership city, I will continue to be at the forefront of that fight both at home and in Washington. 

We have only one planet, so it is imperative that we do everything we can to protect it. 


Eliot L. Engel

Member of Congress