August 6, 1992 PRESIDENT BUSH ON THE ENVIRONMENT +quot;I am here to make a case I feel ver
August 6, 1992
PRESIDENT BUSH ON THE ENVIRONMENT
"I am here to make a case I feel very strongly about -- and
that is the case for a cleaner environment. It is a case
based not only on our own health and safety, and not only on
the obligation we have to future generations. It is based
on the knowledge that successful economic development and
environmental protection go hand in hand. You cannot have
one without the other."
Vice President George Bush
August 31, 1988
"Through our firm commitment and our substantial
investment, we have improved significantly the quality
of our air, land and water resources. The United
States leads the world in environmental protection and
we intend to keep it that way."
President George Bush
Earth Day 1990
o Environmental protection is stronger than ever under the
Bush Presidency, whether measured by pollution reduced,
polluters punished, agreements reached, or Federal dollars
targeted to addressing high priority environmental problems.
o President Bush believes that environmental protection and
economic development are inextricably linked --
environmental stewardship requires that policies in each
area reflect this linkage. As the President has said on
many occasions, sound policies promote both while
o The President has more than doubled research and development
of technologies that will boost both economic performance
and environmental quality and has launched initiatives to
link increased trade with stronger environmental protection.
o The President has sponsored and implemented innovative,
cost-effective programs that use the power of the
marketplace to solve environmental problems. These include
programs such as "Green Lights" to promote energy
efficiency, the "33/50" toxic waste reduction program,
innovative clean air emissions credits, and "Cash-for-
Clunkers" to get the most polluting cars off the road.
o The President believes that existing environmental laws
should be vigorously and firmly enforced. The Bush
Administration has stepped up efforts to ensure that "the
polluter pays" for environmental damage and has secured more
indictments and fines than any previous Administration.
o President Bush has provided substantial international
leadership for environmental protection. Under President
Bush, the U.S. has actively participated in nearly two dozen
new environmental agreements. The President has
successfully negotiated treaties and agreements such as
those to protect the Antarctic, end driftnet fishing, and
halt CFC production.
o In 1990, President Bush called on Congress to elevate the
Environmental Protection Agency to Cabinet status and
thereby create the U.S. Department of the Environment.
Despite widespread bipartisan support, Congress has not
passed this bill.
o In the President's FY93 budget, which freezes overall
domestic discretionary spending, priority environmental
investment is increased by $3.2 billion, or 21 percent.
Since President Bush took office, EPA's operating program
has increased by 54 percent.
o The U.S. has some of the toughest environmental laws in the
world and a record on environmental protection that is
second to none in areas ranging from clean air to endangered
species. The U.S. currently spends nearly $130 billion a
year (about 2 percent of our GDP) on controlling pollution
and protecting the environment, far more than any other
And the President is committed to doing more:
"Some will look at the record and say that it isn't enough.
I have a surprise for them. I couldn't agree more."
President George Bush
July 14, 1992
Promoting Clean Air
o President Bush proposed, negotiated, and then signed the
Clean Air Act Amendments of 1990, the most comprehensive and
innovative air pollution legislation in the world.
-- The President's Clean Air Act will reduce toxic air
emissions by over 75 percent, cut acid rain emissions
in half, and significantly reduce smog in America's
-- When fully implemented, the Clean Air Act will reduce
air pollutant emissions by 56 billion pounds annually,
roughly 224 pounds of pollutants for every man, woman,
and child in this country.
-- The innovative system of tradable sulfur dioxide
emissions credits in the Clean Air Act will provide the
same cuts in emissions as old-style regulation, but
they will save the U.S. economy over $1 billion
o The EPA will issue rules to reduce emissions of methane, a
greenhouse gas, from landfills and will pursue several other
methane reduction programs. In total, the Administration's
strategy projects methane emission reductions equivalent to
25 to 58 million tons of carbon by the year 2000.
o Under the Clean Air Act, oxygenated fuels must be sold in
the most polluted areas of the U.S. by 1993 to reduce the
carbon monoxide levels in cities where the levels are above
our national standards. Alternative fuels and reformulated
gasoline, to be introduced by 1995, will cut ozone-forming
hydrocarbons by 300 million pounds per year.
o The Bush Administration is working to increase the
efficiency and use of alternative fuels. President Bush's
National Energy Strategy encourages the use and production
of natural gas through regulatory reform and promotes R&D to
increase use of renewable sources of energy and ethanol.
o The Administration has reached agreements with industry
which will lead to a reduction in emissions of sulfur
dioxide by 90 percent at the Navajo power plant in northern
Arizona. This will provide cleaner air and improve
visibility in the Grand Canyon.
o The Administration's "Cash-for-Clunkers" plan would help
remove old cars -- the biggest polluters and the biggest gas
guzzlers -- from the road.
Global Climate Change
o The United States is the only nation besides the Netherlands
to have published a detailed action plan for limiting net
greenhouse gas emissions.
-- This action plan is projected to hold net emissions in
the year 2000 to only 1 to 6 percent over 1990 levels.
o President Bush favors greenhouse gas reduction plans
individually tailored for each country -- arbitrary targets
and timetables are inequitable, inefficient, and
o In order to determine what should be done to address global
climate change, the President's interdisciplinary Global
Change Research Program (GCRP), begun in 1989, invests more
in climate research -- $2.7 billion in the last three years
-- than the rest of the world combined.
-- This year President Bush's budget requested almost $1.4
billion for global climate change research, a 24
percent increase over last year. The President has
accelerated research six-fold since 1989.
-- As part of the GCRP, the Mission to Planet Earth uses
satellites to monitor changes in the environment,
recently providing data on the status of the
stratospheric ozone layer and the effects of the
eruption of Mount Pinatubo on the global climate.
o The President proposed and implemented a new transportation
law which will reduce greenhouse gas emissions by improving
automobile efficiency, increasing investment in public
transportation, and developing other means of
o The President's National Energy Strategy contains numerous
provisions to increase energy conservation and efficiency in
transportation, industry, and electricity generation; in
residential, commercial, and Federal government buildings;
and to increase the use of improved energy technologies.
These steps will further help reduce greenhouse emissions.
o The United States and ten other countries of the Americas
signed an agreement in May 1992 to establish the Inter-
American Institute for Global Change Research.
o The U.S. has also committed $25 million for country studies
to help developing countries formulate action plans to
reduce emissions of greenhouse gases. The U.S. has
committed to a supplemental contribution of $50 million to
the World Bank's Global Facility to assist countries in
implementing the Framework Convention on Global Climate
o At the Rio conference, the United States made available to
governments and scientists around the world thousands of
computer disks containing billions of bytes of data on
global climate change.
Protecting the Ozone Layer
o In February 1992, President Bush accelerated the U.S.
deadline for phaseout of ozone-depleting substances
(including CFCs) to the end of 1995, four years ahead of
international deadlines set in the amended Montreal
Protocol, and called on other nations to match the U.S.
commitment. The Clean Air Act of 1990 also includes a
schedule for phase-out of HCFCs, which is not required under
the provisions of the Montreal Protocol.
o The Bush Administration implemented a fee on U.S. production
of ozone-harming substances to accelerate reductions.
Today, U.S. CFC production levels are more than 42 percent
below the level allowed by the London amendments to the
o The United States was the first nation to provide funds to
developing countries to help reduce CFCs. The U.S. will
provide $50 million over three years to assist developing
nations meet the terms of the Montreal Protocol.
Enhancing Forests and Public Lands
o At Home: President Bush has added over 1.5 million new acres
to our treasury of national parks, forests, and wildlife
refuges and added 6.4 million acres to the vast wilderness
o The President's budget requests for his "America the
Beautiful" initiative (including funds for improved
stewardship of national parks, wildlife refuges, forest and
public lands, and partnerships with states for parks and
outdoor recreation), has grown from $863 million in 1989 to
$1.8 billion in 1993. Unfortunately, Congress has refused
to provide full funding for key components of this program.
o The Administration has ended clear-cutting as a standard
practice in national forests and adopted the principles of
"ecosystem management" for forests and other public lands.
o The President has developed and begun implementing a long-
term campaign to enlist state and local participation in the
planting of one billion trees each year and to expand and
improve national parks, forests, and wildlife. Congress has
consistently shortchanged this initiative.
o And Abroad: The President has proposed to double
international forestry assistance through his Forests for
the Future Initiative (which has as its goal halting net
global forest loss by the end of the century) from $1.35
billion to $2.7 billion. The U.S. has already pledged a
"down payment" of $150 million to this effort.
-- Since 1988, total U.S. bilateral forest conservation
assistance has increased by 156 percent.
o At the Houston Economic Summit in 1990, President Bush
proposed, and the G-7 Industrialized Nations adopted, a call
for a global convention to protect and improve the world's
o The President's Enterprise for the Americas Initiative
arranges debt-for-nature swaps and creates environmental
trust funds to protect critical forest habitat in Latin
America and the Caribbean.
o The President is committed to his goal of "no net loss of
wetlands." At the same time, he seeks to balance this
objective with the need to protect the legitimate rights of
farmers, small businesses, and other landowners.
o The President has more than doubled Federal spending for
wetlands protection and restoration, from $295 million in
FY89 to $600 million in FY92 and $812 million requested for
o Since 1989, the Bush Administration, in conjunction with
state and private partners, has acquired and conserved
almost 2 million acres of wetlands. The Administration is
expanding the Everglades National Park by 106,000 acres.
o President Bush signed the North American Wetlands
Conservation Act in which the United States, together with
Canada and Mexico, helps protect migratory waterfowl
populations. The President has once again proposed $15
million to fully fund this North American Waterfowl
Management Plan in FY93, but Congress refused to fund the
plan in FY92 and cut the President's FY93 request in half.
o The President has requested full funding for a voluntary
"wetlands reserve" of up to one million acres as provided
for in the 1990 Farm Bill, but Congress has not matched his
o The U.S. currently chairs the Convention on Wetlands of
International Importance, the major agreement on wetlands
conservation and wise use. The U.S. is the single largest
contributor to the Convention's Wetland Conservation Fund,
which assists developing countries in implementing the
o The Administration supports expansion of wetlands protection
under the Clean Water Act to cases in which wetlands may be
damaged by dredging operations -- the present protection
applies only when wetlands are filled.
o The Bush Administration is developing a classification and
mitigation banking plan to reconcile environmental and
economic imperatives through an outright ban on development
of the most ecologically important wetlands, while allowing
some development in other areas provided that wetlands
losses are offset through the creation and improvement of
Protecting Endangered Species
o President Bush is committed to the protection and
conservation of wildlife. The Endangered Species Act is one
of the strongest wildlife protection laws in the world.
-- Since 1989, the Administration has completed recovery
plans for more than 110 species, revised plans for more
than 20 additional species, and expanded efforts to
identify candidate species.
-- Since taking office, the Bush Administration has more
than doubled funding to protect endangered species.
o The U.S. led the way to international bans on driftnet
fishing and trade in African elephant ivory and hawksbill
o Since 1989, land management agencies have adopted many
ecosystem management principles to do a better job of
conserving species and habitats.
o The U.S. Forest Service has adopted a program called "Every
Species Counts" to recover and conserve over 200 Federally
listed threatened and endangered species. The Forest
Service, Bureau of Land Management, and the National Fish
and Wildlife Service are cooperating on a program called
"Bring Back the Natives" to restore native plant and animal
species in aquatic habitats.
o The Department of Defense has taken over 100 separate
actions on 80 military installations to identify and protect
significant biological resources on DoD lands.
o In preparation for the U.N. Earth Summit in Rio, the Bush
Administration pledged to establish a national center for
biodiversity information and to host a meeting of
international experts to advise nations on how to conduct
o Spotted Owl: Perhaps no recent issue has demonstrated more
clearly the stringency of U.S. law on endangered species, or
the difficulty of balancing it with the economic costs to
human beings, than the case of the northern spotted owl.
o President Bush has sought to achieve a balance in developing
a strategy to save the spotted owl and at the same time
mitigate the economic costs to the Pacific Northwest. To
this effect, the Administration has developed a
"Preservation Plan" which will save half the jobs which
would be lost under other plans, while still ensuring the
o The President has submitted the Preservation Plan to
Congress and hopes that Congress will consider both the
economic and the environmental ramifications of the decision
on the preservation of the spotted owl.
o Florida Panther: The Fish and Wildlife Service, National
Park Service, Florida Department of Natural Resources, and
Florida Game and Fresh Water Fish Commission are developing
a habitat preservation plan for the existing Florida panther
population (estimated to be 30-50 panthers).
o During the Bush Administration, more indictments have been
sought; more civil, criminal, and administrative fines have
been imposed; and more prison sentences for violators have
been secured than in the prior 18 years combined.
o The Bush Administration collected record monetary penalties
for water pollution violations in 1991, tripling the
o The Administration has filed landmark suits to protect
the Great Lakes, the Gulf of Mexico, and the
o The President's FY93 budget proposes to increase EPA
enforcement funding by $15 million; the EPA enforcement
budget has increased by 70 percent during President Bush's
o During the Bush Presidency, nearly two dozen new
international environmental agreements and initiatives have
been launched with active U.S. participation. These
agreements have ranged from the Montreal Protocol to end CFC
production to successful efforts to halt driftnet fishing.
o At the 1991 London Economic Summit, an environmental
coalition issued a detailed scorecard on the environmental
performance of seven leading industrial nations. The United
States earned the highest score overall and top honors in 8
out of 10 categories.
o In 1991, the U.S. signed far-reaching international
agreements to prevent and clean up pollution, protect
wildlife, and monitor more closely the Antarctic and the
o The Bush Administration has put together the U.S. - Asia
Environmental Partnership, a long-term private sector
initiative to bring government and business together to
address environmental problems in the Asia-Pacific Region
through education, information sharing, and loans for
o In 1990, President Bush supported the creation of the East
European Environmental Center in Budapest, Hungary. Known
throughout the region as the "Bush Center," it will build a
community of private parties concerned with environmental
protection. The United States has already provided support
for several local projects on matters such as pesticide
disposal, removing lead from drinking water, and controlling
o The Bush Administration, working with private U.S.
interests, has established four energy efficiency centers in
Eastern Europe to provide improved information to these
countries to improve their energy efficiency programs and
practices as they transform their economies to market-based
o The Administration has recently put in place the America's
21st Century Program to help Latin American countries
introduce renewable energy technologies and the Assisting
Deployment of Energy Practices and Technologies program to
assist developing countries improve their procedures and
technologies for supply and use of energy.
o To assist developing countries reduce growth in greenhouse
gas emissions, the Administration this year has announced
added funding for the General Environment Facility of the
World Bank, plus added funds to countries for improving
their forest maintenance and restoration programs. Further,
the U.S. will lead cooperative efforts with developing
countries to help them identify their critical problems and
available opportunities to deal with global climate and
o At the United Nations Conference on Environment and
Development (UNCED) at Rio, President Bush expanded U.S.
technical and financial assistance programs for
environmental purposes; offered a bold initiative to improve
protection of the world's forests; and promoted a brand of
environmentalism that sees market-oriented economic
development as the key to protecting the Earth.
o In conjunction with his efforts to conclude a North American
Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA), President Bush is pursuing an
ambitious program of cooperation with Mexico on a wide range
of environmental issues.
-- The United States and Mexico have developed an
integrated border environmental plan to protect
environmental quality in the border area.
-- The Bush Administration has committed $138 million in
FY92 to help protect the border environment and has
requested $241 million for FY93. Unfortunately,
Congress has cut the President's request.
-- The Mexican government has budgeted $460 million for
the first three years of the plan.
-- The United States and Mexico are negotiating an
agreement to expand cooperation enforcement and
environmental protection programs beyond the border
Coastal and Ocean Stewardship
o The President wants to ensure that coasts and oceans
continue to receive necessary attention. Almost half of the
U.S. population lives and works in coastal areas.
o The Bush Administration has designated four new marine
sanctuaries (the marine equivalent of national parks), more
than doubling the area of these sanctuaries, and has
protected six new estuarine reserve access areas where
rivers meet the sea. He has also tripled the protection of
coastal barrier islands to encompass 1,211 miles of
o President Bush declared a moratorium until the year 2000 on
offshore oil and gas development off most of the West Coast,
Southern Florida, and New England.
o In 1990, the President signed the Oil Spill Pollution Act,
which requires double hulls on new tankers, creates a $1
billion cleanup trust fund, and increases polluter liability
and enforcement tools.
o At the Paris G-7 Summit in 1989, President Bush offered
proposals that resulted in 1991 in the 80-nation Convention
on Oil Spill Preparedness and Response.
o The President budgeted new funds for the Gulf of Mexico and
increased funding for the Chesapeake Bay and the Great Lakes
to improve water quality and to stop coastal degradation.
o The President secured consent agreements from several states
to ban ocean dumping of sewage sludge and industrial wastes.
All ocean sludge dumping has been halted as of June 1992.
The Bush Administration also established a pilot tracking
system to prevent the dumping of medical waste.
o The U.S. led successful U.N. efforts to halt driftnet
fishing, a highly destructive fishing technique that results
in large, wasteful takes of marine mammals, seabirds, and
other living marine resources.
Providing Clean Water
o The President has secured increased funding to clean up
those harbors which have the largest unmet sewage treatment
needs: Boston, New York, Los Angeles, San Diego, Seattle and
o The first, second, and fourth largest penalties for
violations of the Clean Water Act were secured in 1991,
reflecting vigorous enforcement initiatives.
o The President's FY93 budget includes $2.5 billion for
wastewater treatment grants, a $100 million increase over
o In 1991, the Administration issued a new regulation to
reduce lead, copper, and other harmful substances in our
drinking water, based on a standard that is ten times more
stringent than the previous standard, actions which will
give 138 million Americans cleaner drinking water.
o In 1991, the Administration issued a strategy to develop
groundwater protection programs emphasizing adoption of
environmentally friendly agricultural practices to reduce
the general risk of groundwater contamination.
o The Bush Administration launched a major new National Water
Quality Assessment Program addressing such topics as
pesticides, excess nutrients, and sediments.
Increasing Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy
o The U.S. leads efforts to find cost-effective, market-based
methods for improving energy conservation and efficiency.
The Bush Administration's promotion of utility integrated
resource planning and the "Green Lights" program provide
information and incentives to encourage the use of energy-
o President Bush's National Energy Strategy (NES), first
presented to Congress in the spring of 1991, is a
comprehensive strategy that includes equal measures of
increased energy efficiency and production.
-- The President's program encourages greater use of
natural gas through regulatory reform and increased
research and development. Natural gas releases fewer
pollutants than other fossil fuels.
-- The President has proposed $900 million in next year's
budget for research and development under the Strategy,
twice as much funding as when he took office.
-- The President supports a new generation of safer
nuclear power through increased research and
development of safer designs, licensing reforms, public
education, and responsible waste management.
o The President has increased funding 67% for the development
of renewable energy sources including hydroelectric,
biofuels, wind, geothermal, solar and waste-to-energy
o The President supports full funding of the Federal and
industry cost-shared Clean Coal Technology Demonstration
Program which demonstrates modern technologies to use our
abundant coal resources more cleanly and efficiently.
o President Bush has directed Federal agencies to maximize
their purchases of cleaner running alternative fuels
vehicles. The government has already purchased over 3,000
such vehicles and plans to acquire 5,000 more in FY93.
o President Bush has ordered Federal agencies to reduce energy
use in Federal buildings 20 percent below 1985 levels by
2000 and reduce gasoline and diesel use 10 percent below
1991 levels by 1995.
o The NES encourages state and utility efforts to treat
investment in energy efficiency as an alternative to new
power plants and provides tax-free treatment of utility
discounts on consumers' electricity bills for efficiency
o The Administration has issued rules for improved efficiency
standards for energy-consuming home appliances such as
dishwashers and washing machines.
o The Department of Energy has entered into a four-year, $260
million partnership with the U.S. Advanced Battery
Consortium, a coalition of U.S. automakers and electric
utilities, to develop improved batteries that will
accelerate the commercialization of non-polluting electric
o The Administration is working in partnership with U.S.
industry to develop improved manufacturing processes that
are more efficient and produce less waste, improving
productivity and competitiveness.
Waste Reduction, Recycling and Disposal
o In 1990, the Administration adopted a waste management
hierarchy that gives priority to source reduction and reuse,
followed by recycling and composting, incineration with
energy recovery, and environmentally-sound landfilling.
o The Bush Administration has made pollution prevention, which
is preferable to cleanup, one of its basic environmental
principles. The EPA Office of Pollution Prevention reviews
all relevant regulatory proposals and requires EPA offices
to consider pollution prevention measures early in its rule-
making process. Pollution prevention incentives have been
established for land, water, and air pollution.
o President Bush has sought international implementation of
the Basel Convention, which outlaws the dumping and
uncontrolled export of hazardous wastes to developing
countries. The United States now has bilateral agreements
established with all countries receiving U.S. hazardous
waste to assure that the receiving country will properly
recycle or dispose of the waste.
o In 1991 President Bush ordered all Federal agencies to
implement waste reduction and recycling programs and to
increase purchases of items made from recycled materials.
The White House complex began recycling aluminum cans and
newspapers in 1990 and added white waste paper in 1991.
o The Administration's "33/50" project encourages voluntary
industrial reductions of 17 high-priority toxic wastes -- 33
percent reduction by 1992 and 50 percent by 1995. To date,
over 750 companies and the Departments of Energy and Defense
have committed to the program and will cut toxic pollutants
by almost 350 million pounds.
o The Administration has tripled the rate of toxic waste site
cleanups since 1989. Final cleanup is now underway or
complete at over 500 Superfund sites around the country.
Congress has consistently cut the President's requests for
Superfund cleanups and has yet to provide his original
(FY90) request of $1.7 billion.
o The President has worked at the national and international
levels to eliminate hazardous waste. Toxic releases to the
environment have fallen 26 percent since 1988.
Federal Facilities Cleanup and Compliance
o The Administration has made significant progress in meeting
the requirements of environmental laws and in cleaning up
the Nation's defense facilities. Since 1989, the Department
of Energy's budget for environmental restoration and
compliance activities has risen from $1.7 billion to a level
of $4.3 billion. Proposed funding in FY93 is $5.3 billion -
- a 23 percent increase over 1992.
o The Administration has established enforceable agreements
with the EPA and state regulators which contain detailed
requirements and aggressive schedules for conducting
specific environmental compliance and cleanup activities. A
total of 84 agreements have been established to date and an
additional 27 are under negotiation.
o President Bush also has supported an aggressive national
program within the Department of Energy for the development
and implementation of innovative waste-management
technologies. An integral element of this initiative is the
establishment of partnerships and consortiums with
commercial and educational organizations to support
cooperative research initiatives and information sharing.
o The United States has made additional progress in the study
of disposal options for radioactive waste. In 1991, the
Department of Energy announced that the Waste Isolation
Pilot Plant in New Mexico was ready to begin a test phase to
determine the suitability of the underground facility for
Encouraging Private Sector Participation
o Last year, President Bush selected 25 executives of major
business, academic, and environmental groups to form the
President's Commission on Environmental Quality. The
Commission's charge is to develop and pursue an
environmental improvement agenda using private sector
initiatives that integrate environmental, economic, and
o The Commission has fostered relationships between the
business and nonprofit communities to collaborate on
solutions to pressing environmental problems of concern to
all Americans. Initiatives include:
-- Pollution prevention initiatives to reduce waste in the
workplace and encourage more efficient and cost
effective manufacturing and production.
-- A voluntary program to encourage energy efficiency in
businesses and homes, reducing energy waste and
increasing consumer savings.
-- A national program to improve understanding about the
hazards of lead and thus reduce lead poisoning in young
-- Working with the U.S. Environmental Training Institute,
a public-private sector program developed by the Bush
Administration to assist professionals from developing
countries with their environmental protection efforts.
-- Partnerships to reconcile economic uses of land with
greater conservation of biodiversity.
o Today, more EPA regulations are being written with input
from diverse interests early in the process to reduce the
likelihood of costly litigation and regulatory delay down
the road. But efforts to protect the environment also
depend on greater voluntary private sector initiatives.
o President Bush has initiated development of the Technology
Cooperation Corps with the collaboration and participation
of representatives of U.S. businesses to share U.S. know-how
and expertise in environmental management and technology.
Rewarding Environmental Accomplishment
o Rewarding exemplary environmental achievement is very
important to President Bush. Last year he gave the first-
ever President's Environment and Conservation Challenge
Awards to nine organizations and Presidential Citations for
environmental achievement to an additional 23 organizations.
All award recipients had found innovative and economical
solutions to the Nation's environmental challenges.
o President Bush has also encouraged environmental awareness
on the part of young people. Recently, ten Environmental
Youth Award winners (from grades K-12) were honored for
their efforts in helping to find solutions to today's and
tomorrow's environmental challenges. The winners met with
E-Mail Fredric L. Rice / The Skeptic Tank