I was in the early days of my acting career in 1962, when Rachel Carson's Silent Spring made its way onto best-seller lists and college campuses and into living rooms across America and sowed the seeds of today's environmental movement. The story of that movement still represents for me who we are as a country: a people dedicated to something greater than ourselves, and a nation that recognizes our responsibility to each other.
In this election, only President Obama shares those values and the belief that our kids and grandkids should grow up with living, natural places to explore. Yosemite, the Great Lakes and the Everglades should always be places we can visit and wonders that inspire -- not just photos of what used to be.
Shortly after taking office, President Obama signed one of the largest expansions of wilderness protection in a generation, setting aside more than 2 million acres as protected wilderness, conserving more than 1,000 miles of rivers, authorizing a 26-million-acre conservation system of historically significant landscapes and adding thousands of miles of trails. He's helping restore treasured landscapes from coast to coast that support local economies and communities through tourism and outdoor recreation.
The President has set historic standards that by 2025 will double the distance our cars and trucks will be able to go on a tank of gas, reducing our reliance on foreign oil by 2.2 million barrels per day and saving each of us thousands of dollars at the pump.
He made the single largest investment in clean energy of any other president, helping to double the amount of electricity we generate from wind and solar, strengthening our global economic competitiveness and supporting nearly a quarter of a million American jobs.
And that's one of the biggest differences in an election brimming with them. While President Obama is moving us forward, Mitt Romney would take us back. He'd roll back every step of progress we've made -- not just in the last four years, but the last 40 years.
We've seen in the last stretch of this campaign that Romney will say anything to win, even if it's flat-out false. But we know what the real Mitt Romney would do. He'd gut investments in renewable energy -- including the wind production tax credit that 37,000 American jobs depend on -- while giving $4 billion a year in wasteful taxpayer subsidies to Big Oil, even as they reap near-record profits. It's no coincidence that those same special interests have donated nearly $11 million to Romney's campaign and the super PACs behind it.
Even more revealing, Romney would undermine President Obama's commitment to our national parks and undo the crucial steps the President has taken to reduce toxic pollutants like mercury and address carbon pollution -- change that protects the health and prosperity of our children now and for generations to come.
We simply can't let Mitt Romney buy the keys to the White House and let the special interests write our nation's energy plan behind closed doors, like it did in the previous administration. That old saw didn't work then, and it won't work now.
I hope you'll join me in supporting President Obama and stopping others from reversing our progress. If you care about Great Lakes restoration in Ohio, or the Everglades in Florida, wind energy in Iowa or Colorado, vote. All of those states, and many others, have early voting -- don't wait until Election Day. Check out vote.barackobama.com and head over to the polls now.
This is one of the most important campaigns in our lifetime. The choice is clear, and it's up to all of us to join with President Obama to fight for continuing the significant progress he's made.
But don't take my word for it, watch this video about President Obama's environmental accomplishments and see for yourself our progress that's at stake: