League of Conservation Voters
John V. Kabler Annual Awards Dinner
October 20, 2008
Thank you,… It’s great to be here with all of you tonight. I want to say a special word of thanks to everyone with LCV. Your hard work is one of the key reasons that the Washington Post has declared that we’re ushering in a new “eco-friendly era” in Maryland.
I would like to begin by saying a word of congratulations to our very deserving honorees: Wayne Gilchrest and Bernie Fowler. I’ll be sharing a few words about Wayne and Bernie in a couple of moments – these are two people who truly embody the notion that each individual can make a difference and all of us must try.
Progress Together for a Sustainable Future
The great American poet Bob Dylan writes, quote “Man thinks 'cause he rules the earth he can do with it as he please. And if things don't change soon, he will.”
Here in our One Maryland – thanks in large part to the hard work of all of you at LCV – indeed, the times they are a’changing. Together, we’re embracing a new spirit of progress for our environment and for a cleaner, greener, more renewable energy future:
- Because of a more sustainable future all of us prefer, together we’re renewing our commitment to Program Open Space and actually spending open space dollars on protecting open space. In two years we’ve been able to protect 8,175 acres– a substantial increase over the 2,461 acres protected during the comparable period in the previous administration.
- Because of a more sustainable future all of us prefer, together we’re making real progress for the Chesapeake Bay, with the Chesapeake 2010 Trust Fund and our BayStat initiative. And together, we’ve updated our Critical Areas laws for the first time in a quarter century.
- Because of a more sustainable future all of us prefer, together we’ve created our Climate Change Commission, together we’ve restored our Office of Smart Growth, and together we are finally embracing smart growth strategies which protect our environment while strengthening the bonds of community which tie us together as a State and as a people.
- Because of a more sustainable future all of us prefer, together we’ve passed landmark clean cars legislation, we’ve created real incentives for homeowners and business owners to install green energy systems, we’ve set some of the most ambitious goals in the nation for reducing energy consumption, and we led the charge to hold the first auction of greenhouse gas emission credits in America.
- And because of a more sustainable future all of us prefer, together we’re converting our State vehicle and mass transit fleets to renewable, cleaner fuels.
Tonight, I have the distinct honor of presenting Congressman Gilcrest and Senator Fowler with some awards on behalf of the people of the great State of Maryland.
To Congressman Gilchrest, we are presenting the Admiral of the Chesapeake, the highest honor we bestow on an individual for their contributions to our environment. John Kabler himself, in fact, was one of the past honorees.
To anyone who cares about the land, the water, and the air, Wayne Gilchrest has proven to be a profile in courage. Congressman Gilchrest, on behalf of the people of Maryland, thank you for standing up for our shared future.
At this time, we have a second award to present. We were actually planning to give an Admiral of the Chesapeake to Senator Fowler as well, but when we did a little research we found out that, lo and behold, Governor Hughes beat us to the punch and already gave him one. Unfortunately, there apparently is no such thing in Maryland state government as a “double Admiral.”
So on behalf of the people of the great State of Maryland, we are presenting Senator Bernie Fowler the award of Chesapeake Bay Ambassador, an award created in 2004 to recognize citizens for extraordinary contributions to the maritime community and to the promotion of recreational fishing and boating in Maryland.
Senator Fowler’s impassioned work on behalf of the Patuxent River has earned him the nickname of “preacher of the Patuxent.” He is a true leader and one of our State’s strongest voices for restoring our precious waterways. Senator Fowler, thank you for everything you do for Maryland’s future.
I wanted to leave you today with a quote from one of our country’s original conservationists, Teddy Roosevelt: “Our duty to the whole, including the unborn generations, bids us restrain an unprincipled present-day minority from wasting the heritage of these unborn generations.”
The work of LCV benefits not only ourselves, but the next generation. This is an important organization which works on some of the most important issues of our times.
Thank you for having me here with you today, and thank you for everything you do on behalf of the heritage of unborn generations.