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Last night, in New York City, NRDC's held its 11th Annual Forces for Nature benefit, where we honor those who have made significant contributions to environmental causes. This year's benefit, which was hosted by 30 Rock star Alec Baldwin - a 15 year member of NRDC - honored fashion designer Stella McCartney and Discovery Communications CEO David Zaslav for their outstanding environmental leadership in the fashion and media arenas.
Stella is an industry-leader in creating organic, ethically responsible fashion clothing and skincare products. And under David's leadership, Discovery Communications, with its 25-year tradition of embracing "green" as a corporate value, created Planet Green, the first 24-hour network dedicated to celebrating and examining eco-friendly living and our clean energy future.
Stella and David were also honored because they understand that environmental stewardship can and should play a role in the work they do and the products they produce. Their business acumen and environmental commitment go hand-in-hand.
While last night was a celebration of environmental accomplishments, it was also a time to look toward the future. As I told the crowd last night, these are remarkable times. Yes, we are in the midst of grave economic challenges. But we are also presented with enormous opportunities.
At long last, we have a president who shares our priorities for the environment. We have a cabinet that is putting good land and public health policies in place. And we have a Congress that is poised to take action on global warming and clean energy. In fact, just today, the Waxman-Markey discussion draft was released. It lays out a new direction for America's clean energy future and is the first move by this Congress to enact comprehensive energy and climate legislation.
The discussion draft also reaffirms to those seeking a clean energy future that we have cause for hope and optimism.
And with that optimism, allow me to share some humor from last evening. Serving up the entertainment was Saturday Night Live star and head writer, Seth Meyers, who was good enough to join us and offer an NRDC version of Weekend Update. They say environmentalists don't have a sense of humor, but I sure enjoyed it. Take a look: