Senator John Heinz believed that now is the time for a new form of environmental protection, one that merges - at both the global and local levels - environmental and economic realities.
To that end, John Heinz helped to craft precedent-setting environmental protection legislation signaling a new era in national efforts to control pollution of the air, land, and water. Joined by his friend and colleague U.S. Senator Timothy Wirth, John Heinz sponsored two studies designed to develop strategies to bring together the often-competing interests of the marketplace and the environment. His advocacy of marshaling the forces of the marketplace to aid the earth facilitated passage of the 1990 Clean Air Act Amendments, landmark legislation that encouraged the reduction of emissions directly leading to acid rain.
Senator Heinz also realized that the only real solution to our environmental concerns is a global one. In order to bring about greater consensus and cooperation, John Heinz co-founded an organization of parliamentarians from the world's major industrialized nations with the mission to bypass and eliminate environmental policy paralysis in the executive branch of their governments.
John Heinz also recognized the critical importance of preserving global rain forests. As a result, in the true spirit of innovation that characterized everything he did, he helped the cause by encouraging debt-for-nature projects. His environmental efforts were also felt in his home state of Pennsylvania. Senator Heinz backed legislation protecting vast stretches of the Allegheny River and supported the restoration of the river's lock system. He also helped secure funds for additional land purchases of park and recreational areas to preserve Pennsylvania's natural heritage.
The Heinz Award in the Environment honors individuals who like John Heinz, have confronted environmental concerns with a spirit of innovation and who demonstrate the same blend of action and creativity in approaching the protection of our environment.