This is historical material “frozen in time”. The website is no longer updated and links to external websites and some internal pages may not work.

Search form

The White House
Office of the Press Secretary
For Immediate Release

Statement by President Obama on the 40th Anniversary of Earth Day

In 1970, a Senator from Wisconsin named Gaylord Nelson raised his voice and called on every American to take action on behalf of the environment. In the four decades since, millions of Americans have heeded that call and joined together to protect the planet we share.

Since that first Earth Day 40 years ago, we have made immense progress – from the landmark legislation of the 1970s, the Clean Air and Clean Water Acts, to the conservation of America’s precious landscapes.

And since taking office, my Administration has worked to build on this progress. We have made a historic investment in clean energy that will not only create the jobs of tomorrow, but will also lay the foundation for long-term economic growth.  And we have also renewed our commitment to passing comprehensive energy and climate legislation that will safeguard our planet, spur innovation and allow us to compete and win in the 21st century economy.

Earth Day has always been about people from different backgrounds and different walks of life coming together on behalf of a cause bigger than ourselves. And with that spirit of community, we must continue the hard work to make the dream of a clean energy economy a reality, and pass this world on to our children cleaner and safer than we found it.