Climate Legislation Is Key to Safeguarding America's Wildlife

NWF CEO testifies before House Energy and Commerce subcommittee on global warming impacts, solutions for wildlife and natural resources

03-25-2009 // Christine Dorsey

WASHINGTON, DC -- National Wildlife Federation CEO Larry Schweiger testified today before the House Energy and Commerce Subcommittee on Energy and Environment on the urgent need for comprehensive climate and energy legislation that includes large-scale dedicated funding to protect and restore wildlife and natural resources threatened by global warming.

Larry Schweiger, president and CEO of the National Wildlife Federation, had this to say in his testimony:

"Today's hearing is essentially about whether Congress will ensure our children and grandchildren are not left with a world fundamentally different than the one we have enjoyed.

"I want to emphasize if we cap carbon pollution, but fail to invest adequately in natural resource protection, we will have accomplished only half the job.

"Congress must use the revenue from a carbon cap program to carry out a program that is 'clean, green and fair.' Clean, because we must invest in clean energy technologies. Green, because we must provide large-scale dedicated funding to protect our nation's wildlife and other natural resources from climate change. Fair, because we must protect consumers and help those who are most vulnerable around the world.

"Wildlife serves as the foundation of rural economies throughout our nation. Fishing, hunting, hiking and other outdoor activities that rely on healthy wildlife and ecosystems contribute $730 billion to the U.S. economy. They also support nearly 6.5 million jobs and generate $88 billion in state and national tax revenue. Continuation of this economic activity at or near current levels depends on a commitment by Congress to invest in safeguarding wildlife and ecosystems from climate change impacts.

"To meet our fundamental ethical duty to pass on a healthy planet to future generations, we must reduce carbon pollution and invest now in natural resources adaptation. We must protect the natural world that protects us."

Today's hearing is the first in the House focused specifically on how revenues from a cap-and-trade bill could be used to fund large-scale wildlife and natural resource conservation. Experts from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration and the Government Accountability Office joined Schweiger in testifying before the subcommittee.

The National Wildlife Federation is America's largest conservation organization inspiring Americans to protect wildlife for our children's future.

Contact: Aislinn Maestas, 202-797-6624, maestas@nwf.org

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