USEA Commemorates 51st Anniversary of Earth Day

Washington, D.C. – Today, USEA celebrates the 51st Anniversary of Earth Day, acknowledging the lasting influence of this unique global event and commemorating all USEA members, partners, and energy stakeholders who seek to see the world have safe, affordable, environmentally friendly energy.

In a statement, Acting Executive Director Sheila Hollis paid homage to Earth Day and recollected the first Earth Day in 1970 in her hometown of Denver, Colorado:

“Earth Day 2021 is especially meaningful for USEA. This special observation is magnified in these complex times, considering the reality of the ongoing global pandemic and the connected human experience. While our industry has been impacted during these troubled times, the effects of the pandemic have reverberated throughout the entire global economy and through the lives of all humanity. We must not take for granted our reliance on energy to survive and live a comfortable modern life.

“51 years ago today, I was in Denver, Colorado for the inaugural Earth Day celebration -  the original epicenter of what would become the massive global event we know today.

“In 1970, the U.S. was engulfed in the Vietnam War. Yet, in the midst of that painful time in our history, U.S. Senator Gaylord Nelson (D-WI), who was active in the environmental movement, created Earth Day to elevate environmental concerns. His actions would ignite a dramatic change in the manner in which those issues would be approached nationally. On April 22, the Senator came to Denver to attend a 12-hour teach-in to 4,500 restless young people, attracting significant attention locally, and eventually capturing the interest of the entire country and beyond.

“By December of 1970, Congress had authorized the formation of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). Many consider Earth Day 1970 as the beginning of the modern environmental movement. The rest, they say, is history!”