REP’s Earth Day Message to the GOP
By MARTHA MARKS, REP President
AN HISTORICAL DOCUMENT: Martha gave this statement at a press conference of environmental leaders at the Willard Hotel in Washington, D.D. on April 1, 2004.
My name is Martha Marks. I’m the president of Republicans for Environmental Protection.
I’m proud to be here for the 34th celebration of Earth Day—and to serve as a visual reminder that Republicans helped establish the environmental movement, Republicans helped create the first Earth Day, and Republicans were leaders on environmental issues throughout the energetic decade that followed that first Earth Day. The leaders of the Republican Party made us proud in those days.
While there are still many Republican office holders and rank-and-file Republican voters who adhere to the GOP’s great conservation tradition, we at REP are not pleased with our party’s leaders right now. Republican Party leaders have chosen to turn their backs on a long and proud tradition of environmental protection and natural resource conservation.
Republican Party leaders have chosen to follow a grim, divisive, and ideological path, instead of an inspiring, visionary path that would lead to a new national consensus rooted in traditional American values, as well as traditional conservative values.
These are not wise or worthy choices.
We at REP want Republican leaders to be leaders in:
- enforcing and strengthening the Clean Air Act and Clean Water Act, not undercutting them.
- creating an “eco-economy” that recognizes our limited natural resources as natural capital that should be spent and invested wisely, not squandered for short-term profit.
- seeking bipartisan solutions to the very real problem of global warming, instead of stonewalling and hoping the problem will go away.
- protecting our great natural heritage. We at REP have been dismayed by the administration’s “drill and waste” approach to the public lands that should be protected as an important part of our national patrimony.
- channeling the power of the federal government to encourage R&D for alternative energy sources, and to create a strong market for the new technology. If our country doesn’t take the lead in this, others will, and America will be left behind.
Speaking directly to Republican leaders now, I say:
Our party has done far better on environmental issues in the past. We have a moral obligation to do better now. And if we want to remain a mainstream, majority party, we must resolve to do much better in the future.