THE WHITE HOUSE
Office of the Press Secretary
STATEMENT BY VICE PRESIDENT AL GORE
As Americans head to the great outdoors this Memorial Day weekend for all of the summertime passtimes that we find so rewarding, it's a good time to reflect on just how far we've come in protecting our environment -- and to pledge to each other that we will never go back.
When we take out our fishing poles and swimsuits and hikiing boots after the long winter, we can be thankful that many of our lakes and beaches and parks are much cleaner and more enjoyable than they were only a few short years ago.
We made this progress because 25 years ago, this country made a public promise to the next generation to protect public health and the environment.
But there are some who think that because these laws have worked so well, they're no longer necessary -- or that the public wouldn't notice if they were rolled back. Clearly, we still need tough laws for safe water, safe food and safe families. And clearly, we should seek new ways to make these laws work more effectively.
But rather than conduct an open debate on the issues, many in Congress have gone behind closed doors and worked side-by-side with lobbyists to roll back public safeguards. They know that the people support strong health and environmental standards, so they have mounted a sneak attack.
And so today, it's our job to be vigilant in defending the progress we have made from attacks by the short-sighted and selfish. We need to celebrate how far we've come and we need to resolve that we will never allow this country's environmental laws to be rolled back.
I support the Save Our Summer campaign and I urge Americans to spend a few minutes this Memorial Day deciding how we can each personally get involved in the defense of our country's natural heritage and all that we enjoy and treasure about it.