New Jersey Sierra Club Awards Senator Menendez

New Jersey Sierra Club Awards Senator Menendez

Princeton - Yesterday the New Jersey Sierra Club awarded Senator Robert Menendez its Outstanding Achievement Award. The award was given for the Senator's longstanding commitment to the environment and leadership on environmental issues throughout his legislative career. It was presented in front of a packed room of Sierra Club volunteers and board members.

The award specifically highlighted Senator Menendez's leadership in addressing global warming, preventing offshore drilling on the Atlantic Coast, and protecting the nation's wild places.

"To receive the Sierra Club's highest award is a tremendous honor," said Senator Menendez. "Never has there been a more important time to stand up for policies that help protect our environment, clear the air we breathe and secure a clean energy future. In doing so, we have the opportunity to safeguard ourselves and our children from the disastrous effects of climate change while creating new jobs and economic security."

"This is our highest honor, we would call it a lifetime achievement award, but we know Senator Menendez will continue his great work and fight for the environment in the years to come," said Jeff Tittel, Director of the New Jersey Sierra Club. "Senator Menendez not only votes the right way, he is a dedicated environmental leader and champion."

As Congress works to pass comprehensive climate change legislation, Senator Menendez has emerged as a critical leader on environmental, public health and green jobs issues. He is widely considered a champion for reducing greenhouse gases and promoting the clean energy economy. The climate bill being considered by Congress would bring 58,000 jobs to the state, make New Jersey energy independent, and help consumers save money through efficiency measures.

Upon receiving the award Senator Menendez spoke about the need to reduce the country's reliance on fossil fuels. The Senator's record supports his words; he has consistently worked against subsidies for clean coal and supported the Environmental Protection Agency's regulatory authority over coal plants. Time and time again he has made it clear that he will not support offshore drilling. There have been instances when national environmental groups were willing to compromise on offshore drilling, but Menendez stood for his principles.

"When we talk to the Senator or his staff on these issues, we are not lobbying for environmental protection, we are discussing the best strategies and ideas to protect the environment," said Tittel. "Menendez has been a real environmental hero, a strong leader on global warming and stopping offshore drilling."

In addition to his work on energy and climate, Menendez is a leader of protecting public lands. A co-sponsor of the Highlands Conservation Act he was a key reason why the state received $4 million for Highlands Acquisitions this year. This is the highest ever acquisitions appropriation. He supported expanding the Wallkill Refuge and designating Patterson's Great Falls a National Park. This designation recognizes the role Patterson and the Great Falls played in the development of our country's industrial history. New Jersey had not received a National Park designation in thirty years prior.

"Having partnered with the Sierra Club to help protect our natural treasures in the Garden State and across the nation, I know what a passionate group it is and how deeply it understands our obligation to safeguard our land for future generations," Senator Menendez said. "I look forward to continuing this important partnership as we work to protect the Jersey Shore, safeguard the Highlands, create clean energy jobs and ensure that our children grow up in a green and safe environment," Menendez said.

Senator Menendez's environmental and conservation leadership extend well beyond New Jersey. Around the country he is known as a champion for protecting the Alaska National Wildlife Refuge, the Tongass National Forest, Utah Lands, the Rocky Mountain Ecosystem, for cleaning up Superfund and Toxic sites, stopping air pollution from coal, and protecting our drinking water and waterways.