Mr. President, for more than three decades people from all walks of life have gathered on April 22 to celebrate the environment. As a nation we have made tremendous progress. But, as we mark Earth Day tomorrow, rather than celebrating our environmental legacy, I am afraid we are fighting harder than ever to protect our progress. Since the day he came into office, President Bush has worked to gut more than 34 years of hard work by weakening many of our nation’s standing environmental laws, some of which were signed by his father. Air pollution is causing 70,000 premature deaths a year in the United States. Yet this Bush Administration has proposed one of the biggest roll-backs of the Clean Air Act in history. Science tells us that more than 600,000 women and children are at risk from mercury contamination. Yet, this Bush Administration has proposed to violate a legal requirement to reduce mercury emissions from power plants. As we approach another summer, 40 percent of U.S. rivers and lakes remain too polluted for fishing or swimming. In spite of the facts, this Bush Administration has proposed fewer bodies of water be protected by the Clean Water Act. Toxic waste sites continue to be added to the Superfund list, while this Bush Administration continues to cut funding for the program and refuses to re-authorize the polluter pays law. The earth continues to warm, and this Bush Administration refuses to act to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. This Bush Administration has a growing credibility gap, maybe even a credibility chasm on environmental policy. The President has lost the trust of the American people when it comes to the environment. As the ranking member of the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee, I feel we have an obligation to maintain and enforce the environmental laws we already have on the books, and also to strengthen them. Unfortunately, on environmental issues our President is moving us backward instead of leading us forward. I only hope that in the future, we can once again celebrate Earth Day by showing more respect for our environment.