Washington, D.C.-Sen. James Inhofe (R-Okla.), chairman of the Committee on Environment and Public Works, released the following statement on Earth Day 2003: “Like President Bush, I am an optimist about the environment because things are getting better all the time. The facts are undeniable: our air and water are cleaner, pollution is steadily declining, and public health continues to improve. So as it moves forward to solve remaining problems, Congress should reject eco-alarmism, which is rooted in fear, distortion, and the failed policies of the past, and instead embrace the future. “New Republic Senior Editor Gregg Easterbrook has written that environmental policy should focus on ‘rationality and optimism.’ That philosophy lies at the heart of President Bush’s environmental agenda. He understands that we must move beyond command-and-control and reject the bankrupt rhetoric of doom. His program is pragmatic, and rooted in common sense, focusing as it does on harnessing the innovative technologies that fuel environmental progress. “The contrast between the past and the future is clear: President Bush is about the future, building on the successes of the past. Eco-doomsayers, on the other hand, are stuck in the past.” THE PAST “[W]hat has happened to the problem of air pollution is what happens to most of the world’s problems. The problems don’t get solved. They simply get pushed aside, because they are swamped with unexpected newer and even worse ones.”-from ‘Our Angry Earth’, by Isaac Asimov and Frederik Pohl. THE FUTURE “Since passage of the Clean Air Act in 1970, the nation’s gross domestic product has increased 160 percent, energy consumption has increased 45 percent, and population has increased 38 percent. At the same time emissions have declined by 29 percent”-The Environmental Protection Agency, “Latest Findings on National Air Quality: 2001 Status and Trends.” THE PAST “In the 1970s and 1980s hundreds of millions of people will starve to death in spite of any crash programs embarked upon now. At this late date nothing can prevent a substantial increase in the world death rate...”-from ‘The Population Bomb,’ by Paul Ehrlich THE FUTURE “American and the world share this common goal: we must foster economic growth in ways that protect our environment. We must encourage growth that will provide a better life for citizens, while protecting the land, the water, and the air that sustain life.”-President Bush, February 14, 2002 THE PAST “We’re not likely to see hydrogen-powered cars on the road for decades.”--Dr. Daniel Lashof, science director of the NRDC Climate Center. THE FUTURE “In this century, the greatest environmental progress will come about not through endless lawsuits or command-and-control regulations, but through technology and innovation. Tonight I’m proposing $1.2 billion in research funding so that America can lead the world in developing clean, hydrogen-powered automobiles.”-President Bush, State of the Union, January 28, 2003. THE PAST “[President Bush’s Clear Skies Initiative] will result in more air pollution, contributing to more asthma attacks, more premature deaths, more acid rain and more global warming.” ‘Behind Closed Doors,’ by the US Public Interest Research Group. THE FUTURE “The Clean Skies legislation will reach our ambitious air quality goals through a market-based cap-and-trade approach that rewards innovation, reduces cost and guarantees results. Instead of the government telling utilities where and how to cut pollution, we will tell them when and how much to cut. We will give them a firm deadline and let them find the most innovative ways to meet it.”-President Bush, February 14, 2002 --###--