For Release Sunday, December 4, 2011
Across America, regional communities are actively envisioning and investing in new patterns of sustainable growth and development that aim to promote economic competitiveness, environmental integrity and social opportunity. For the most part, these efforts are homegrown, prompted by a host of new market forces, social realities and environmental constraints.
In recent years, the federal government has stepped up its role in this process, bringing engaged leadership, yet also prompting questions about whether it should be involved in this arena. From my perspective, the answer is clear: federal leadership in fostering sustainable development is important to both the interests of the federal government and to the health of the nation.
There is a clear and compelling federal interest in promoting sustainable development as a proactive strategy to target and leverage federal investments in infrastructure, innovation and human capacity, as a protective strategy to guard the efficacy of federal assets and investments, and as a preemptive strategy to minimize the need to expend federal resources to mitigate the environmental, social and economic consequences of inefficient and unsustainable development practices.