(CNN) – "We now have a president who's going to put science at the heart of our environmental policies and decisions," Michelle Obama said to a cheering crowd of employees at the Environmental Protection Agency Thursday. "It's a new day."
Mrs. Obama spoke to roughly 1,000 EPA staffers, her latest stop in a series of visits to government agencies, thanking employees for their work and assuring them that they have "unwavering support from a phenomenal president."
"This new era puts the EPA at the center of President Obama's highest priorities, securing America's energy independence and securing the future of our planet by combating climate change," the first lady said.
The EPA is an agency whose mission is particularly close to Obama's heart: public health. "I've often spoken about my most important job - being a mom, and like mothers and fathers everywhere, the health and safety of our children is our top priority," she said. "This is what it is all about - the future."
The first lady touted environmental spending in the president's stimulus plan which designates 10.5 billion dollars to the EPA to "continue to clean up our communities and improve the health of our fellow Americans." The boost in environmental spending is nearly 50 percent higher than President Bush asked for in 2008, and includes funds designated to improve sewage treatment plants, drinking water systems and to protect waterways.
The first lady maintained the president will "champion bold policies and make smart investments" like create more energy efficient buildings, Obama said as the crowd roared.
"See now that's exciting, you know you're at the EPA."