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Administrator Lisa P. Jackson, Remarks at West Philadelphia High School, As Prepared

As prepared for delivery.

First let me congratulate the students on their past successes – their victories at the Tour de Sol competition in 2002, 2005, and 2006. I also wish them the best of luck in the upcoming X-Prize competition.

This project is not just about designing a building or a car. It’s about designing our future.

Ideas like these will determine our country’s future for clean energy and a clean environment.

They’re also the future for our economy. This represents the green jobs and new technologies that can give us real energy independence and revitalize our auto industry.

Last year, EPA awarded a grant allowing West Philadelphia High students to visit our National Vehicle and Fuel Emissions Laboratory in Ann Arbor, Michigan. So I’m proud to think we had a hand in inspiring your work.

Our FY 2010 budget calls for increased support for the Ann Arbor laboratory to encourage developments and innovations like the ones these students have worked so hard on.

These young people are way ahead of the curve. They’re pioneering change, and showing us that the environmentally sound thing to do is also the economically sound thing to do.

They know we don’t have to choose between a green economy and a green environment.

And while they’re looking out for our national economy and protecting the planet from climate change, they’re also making a difference for the people in their communities.

A lot of the students at West Philadelphia come here everyday from disadvantaged, under served neighborhoods. Those are the neighborhoods most vulnerable to both environmental and economic challenges.

But they are also the neighborhoods that stand to benefit the most from new economic opportunities, lower fuel costs, and cleaner air.

I know I speak for everyone when I say that being here today gives me a very good feeling about the years ahead.

Congratulations again to our students, who have so much to be proud of. I commend your creativity, your excitement, and your concern.

I challenge you to stay engaged and active.

I’m excited to see where you can take us. Best of luck in the X-Prize Competition.