Statement by United States Congressman Frank Paullone Jr. to the House of Representatives, April 1990


200 years ago, our Founding Fathers enacted the Bill of Rights, providing for our civil and political freedoms and protecting us from governmental tyranny.  This document also called upon our legislators to provide for our general welfare.  I don’t think that even our Founding Fathers, in all their infinite wisdom, could have foreseen what future generations would do to our natural environment.

I believe our Constitution should address our right to a clean environment.  We have the right to clean air.  We have the right to clean water.  We have the right to experience forests and open space in their natural state.  Our air, our water, and our natural areas must not be contaminated by pollution and must not be despoiled by overdevelopment. 

To help achieve the goal of a safe and clean environment, I join with Kids Against Pollution (KAP) in calling for an amendment to our State and National Constitutions.  I am introducing in Congress an Environmental Bill of Rights to achieve this end.  As all legislators have taken an oath to uphold the Constitution, this new Bill of Rights will compel our lawmakers to enact and enforce our environmental laws.

This past Earth Day, Americans everywhere demonstrated their concern about the environment.  What i find most heartening, however, is how our young people are taking the lead.  In just 2 years, Kids Against Pollution has formed over 500 chapters in 42 states.  KAP is now a nationwide coalition of elementary schoolchildren who are learning about our pollution problems and seeking solutions.  KAP’s motto sums it up best: Save the Earth, Not Just For Us But For Future Generations.”

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