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Groundbreaking Ceremony for the New Headquarters of the Navy League of the United States, Arlington, Virginia

04/14/2003
Remarks of Governor Christine Todd Whitman,
Administrator of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency,
at the Groundbreaking Ceremony
for the New Headquarters of the
Navy League of the United States
Arlington, Virginia

April 14, 2003


Thank you, Mr. (Charles) Robinson, for that introduction.

I am honored to be with you this morning to help break ground for the new headquarters of the Navy League of the United States. Events of recent weeks have demonstrated once again the importance of a strong military to preserve peace and freedom in the world.

None of us who saw the pictures of our men and women in uniform being embraced by the grateful people of Baghdad will ever forget that, while freedom isn = t free, the price it bears is worth paying.

In preparing for today, I was interested to read that the Navy League was established in 1902 with the encouragement of President Theodore Roosevelt. As you know, TR was as strong an advocate of the Navy as it ever had. Under his leadership as assistant secretary of the Navy in the first McKinley administration, the United States Navy truly entered the modern era.

Similarly, Teddy Roosevelt was also America = s first great environmental president. His deep love of the outdoors B of the rhythms of nature and her beauty B made him the strongest advocate for the environment of his generation.

It can be fairly said of TR, I think, that he is the patron saint of both the modern U.S. Navy and of enlightened American environmentalism. That is why I think he would be so proud of what the Navy League is undertaking today.

You are not just breaking ground for a new headquarters building B a symbol of the strength of this organization a century after it = s founding. You are also breaking ground on an environmentally sound building B a symbol of your commitment to preserving and protecting the environment for our children and grandchildren.

I know that there are still a lot of people who think of an environmentally friendly building as some bizarrely shaped structure with ugly panels jutting out at all angles, inefficient heating and cooling inside, and drab, unfriendly interior spaces. That may have been true once, but it = s not anymore.

As your new headquarters will demonstrate, we have the technology and the know-how to create attractive, comfortable buildings today that conserve energy, water, and land without any sacrifice in comfort and convenience.

I am especially pleased that you will be making extensive use of Energy Star products and systems. Energy Star is one of EPA = s most successful voluntary programs, saving consumers more than $6 billion in energy costs and preventing as much pollution as if we removed 12 million cars from the roads. And if you like those numbers, tomorrow we will be announcing new ones B and they = re even better.

As Teddy Roosevelt once said, A It = s not what we have that will make us a great nation, it is the way in which we use it.@ The responsible way in which you are using our natural resources is what helps make you a great organization. By building the first A green @ building in Arlington County, you are living out the Arlington Way, both by being good neighbors and by providing true civic leadership by example.

Congratulations on this important milestone. I hope I = ll have the chance to come back and visit this building when it = s completed and everything = s ship-shape.

Thank you.