President Clinton and Vice President Gore:
Protecting our Environment and Public Health
A Record of Accomplishment
'From our inner cities to our pristine
wild lands, we have worked hard to ensure that every American has a clean
and healthy environment. We've rid hundreds of neighborhoods of toxic
waste dumps, (and) taken the most dramatic steps in a generation to clean
the air we breathe....We have made record investments in science and technology
to protect future generations from the threat of global warming. We've
worked to protect and restore our most glorious natural resources, from
the Florida Everglades to California's redwoods...to Yellowstone. And
we have, I hope, finally put to rest the false choice between the economy
and the environment, for we have the strongest economy perhaps in our
history, with a cleaner environment.'
-- President Clinton
January 11, 2000
Protecting Americas Natural Treasures
- Preserving our Lands Legacy. Seeking permanent funding of $1.4
billion a year through the Lands Legacy initiative to expand federal
efforts to save America's natural treasures and provide significant
new resources to states and communities to protect local green spaces
and protect ocean and coastal resources. Won $652 million for Lands
Legacy in the FY 2000 budget, a 42 percent increase.
- Protecting Americas Forests. Launched effort to protect
over 40 million acres of "roadless areas," which include some
of America's last wild places. Dramatically improved management of our
national forests with an ambitious new science-based agenda that places
greater emphasis on recreation, wildlife and water quality, while reforming
logging practices to ensure steady, sustainable supplies of timber and
jobs. Balanced the preservation of old-growth stands with the economic
needs of timber-dependent communities through the Pacific Northwest
- Creating New National Monuments.
- Protecting Utahs Red Rock Canyon. Created the Grand
Staircase-Escalante National Monument in Utah, protecting 1.7 million
acres of spectacular red rock canyonlands, artifacts from three
ancient cultures, and the most remote site in the lower 48 states.
- Protecting the North Rim of the Grand Canyon. Designated
the new Grand Canyon-Parashant National Monument in Arizona to protect
just over 1 million acres of deep canyons, mountains, and buttes
on the north rim of the Grand Canyon.
- Saving Prehistoric Treasures. Created the Agua Fria National
Monument 40 miles north of Phoenix, which features some of the most
extensive prehistoric ruins in the Southwest, including spectacular
petroglyphs, terraced agricultural areas, and rock pueblos.
- Preserving Coastal Riches. Created the California Coastal
National Monument encompassing thousands of federally owned islands,
rocks, and reefs off the California Coast providing critical feeding
and nesting grounds for seabirds.
- Expanding a 92-Year-Old National Treasure. Expanded Californias
Pinnacles National Monument, created by President Roosevelt in 1908,
to preserve the monuments unique geologic resources.
- Defending the Worlds First National Park. Reached an
historic agreement to halt the massive New World mine three miles outside
Yellowstone National Park, protecting the area from toxic runoff and
other threats. Protected 9,300 acres in the Royal Teton Ranch adjoining
Yellowstone National Park, a critical step to preserve the famed bison
and geysers of Americas first national park.
- Restoring the Florida Everglades. Secured nearly $1.2 billion
for Everglades restoration over the past five years. Proposed a $7.8
billion plan to nearly double the amount of fresh water available in
South Florida, ensuring clean, plentiful flows for the Everglades, and
adequate supplies for the region's cities and farms. Worked in close
partnership with interested parties to acquire and protect critical
lands, accelerate scientific research and strengthen water quality programs
targeted at restoring the Everglades. Added nearly 70,000 acres to Everglades
- Saving Californias Ancient Redwoods. Forged an agreement
and secured $250 million in federal funds to preserve the Headwaters
ancient redwood forest in Northern California, saving trees up to 2,000
years old and protecting critical habitat for threatened and endangered
- Restoring the California Bay-Delta Ecosystem. Secured $190
million to help restore the California Bay-Delta ecosystem through CALFED
-- a joint Federal-state initiative to develop a long-term strategy
to ensure adequate water supplies to meet the states urban, agricultural,
and environmental needs -- plus $30 million for Bay-Delta water management
activities supporting CALFED's long-term objectives.
- Improving Our National Parks. Issued new standards to clear
the haze and restore pristine skies to our national parks. Signed Omnibus
Parks legislation that creates or improves over 100 national parks,
trails, rivers, and historical sites. Created Death Valley National
Park, the largest park in the lower 48 states, and Mojave Desert National
Preserve in the California Desert. Blocked attempts in Congress to close
some national parks and expand road building in others.
- Protecting Natural and Historic Sites. Protected scores of
natural and historic sites around the country by securing over $2.5
billion over the past seven years through the Land and Water Conservation
Fund for acquisition of threatened lands. Projects include completing
the Appalachian Trail, protecting Civil War battlefields, and preserving
New Mexico's majestic Baca Ranch.
- Safeguarding the Arctic Refuge. Turned back attempts by Congress
to open the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge to oil and gas drilling.
- Forging Conservation Partnerships with Farmers. Provided farmers
with new conservation tools by proposing and signing a Farm Bill that
authorized $2.2 billion in additional funding for conservation programs
such as the Conservation Reserve and Wetlands Reserve. Created new federal-state
partnerships that targeted over $1 billion -- in Illinois, Maryland,
Minnesota, New York, Oregon, and Washington for farmers and ranchers
to voluntarily remove lands from production to improve water quality
and wildlife habitat.
Ensuring Public Health
- Cleaning Up Auto Emissions. Adopted a uniform tailpipe standard
to passenger cars, SUVs and other light-duty trucks, producing cars
that are 77 percent cleaner -- and light-duty trucks up to 95 percent
cleaner -- than those on the road today. Set new standard to reduce
average sulfur levels in gasoline by up to 90 percent. Once fully implemented
in 2030, these measures will prevent 43,000 premature deaths and 173,000
cases of childhood respiratory illness each year, and reduce emissions
by the equivalent to removing 164 million cars from the road.
- Strengthening Clean Air Protections. Approved strong new clean
air standards for soot and smog that could prevent up to 15,000 premature
deaths a year and improve the lives of millions of Americans who suffer
from respiratory illnesses. Defending the standards against legal assaults
- Accelerating Toxic Waste Cleanups. Completed cleanup at 515
Superfund sites, more than three times as many as the previous two administrations,
with cleanup of more than 90 percent of all sites either completed or
in progress. Secured $1.4 billion in FY 2000 to continue progress toward
cleaning up 900 Superfund sites by 2002.
- Providing Safe Drinking Water: Proposed and signed legislation
to strengthen the Safe Drinking Water Act and ensure that our families
have healthy clean tap water. Required America's 55,000 water utility
companies to provide regular reports to their customers on the quality
of their drinking water.
- Established EPAs Drinking Water State Revolving Fund (DWSRF)
that provides grants to States to finance priority drinking water
projects that meet Clean Water Act mandates. To date, the DWSRFs have
provided $1.9 billion in loans to communities.
- Awarded nearly $200 million in Department of Agriculture (USDA)
loans and grants for over 100 safe drinking water projects in rural
areas of 40 states. USDA grants and loans target rural communities
plagued by some of the nations worst water quality and dependability
- Ensuring Clean Water. Launched the Clean Water Action Plan
to help clean up the 40 percent of America's surveyed waterways still
too polluted for fishing and swimming. Secured $3.9 billion since 1998,
a 16 percent increase, to help states, communities and landowners in
reducing polluted runoff, enhancing natural resource stewardship, improving
citizens' right to know, and protecting public health.
- Strengthening Communities' Right to Know. Strengthened the
public's right to know about chemicals released into their air and water
by partnering with the chemical industry and the environmental community
in an effort to provide complete data on the potential health risks
of the 2,800 most widely used chemicals. Nearly doubled the number of
chemicals that industry must report to communities, while expanding
the number of facilities that must report by 30 percent.
- Expanded the community right to know about releases of 27 persistent
bio-accumulative toxins (including mercury, dioxin, and PCBs). These
highly toxic chemicals are especially risky because they do not break
down easily and are known to accumulate in the human body.
- Making Children's Health a Priority. Signed an Executive Order
to reduce environmental health and safety risks to children. Requires
federal agencies to coordinate their research priorities on children's
health and to ensure that their standards take into account special
risks to children.
- Improving Food Safety Standards. Streamlined the regulation
of pesticides and put important new public-health protections in place,
especially for children, by signing the Food Quality Safety Act.
- Restoring a National Symbol. Initiated action to remove the
American Bald Eagle from the endangered species list. There are now
nearly 6,000 pairs of bald eagles in the lower 48 states, compared to
just 3,300 pairs in 1992.
- Saving Pacific Salmon. Secured $83 million in FY 2000 for two
major new efforts to restore salmon in the Pacific Northwest: $58 million
for the Pacific Coastal Salmon Recovery Fund, which provides resources
for states and tribes to protect and rebuild salmon stocks; and $25
million to implement the historic Pacific Salmon Treaty with Canada,
which established two regional funds to improve fisheries management
and enhance bilateral scientific cooperation between the two countries
and provides funding to buy back fishing permits in Washington.
- Expanding Wildlife Refuges. Added 57,000 acres, including lands
along the last free-flowing section of the Columbia River, to the Saddle
Mountain National Wildlife Refuge to protect salmon habitat in Washington.
- Forging Partnerships to Protect Habitat. Completed 255 major
Habitat Conservation Plans (HCPs), compared to 14 before the Administration
took office, to protect more than 20 million acres of private land and
over 170 threatened and endangered species. These voluntary agreements
protect habitat while providing landowners the certainty they need to
effectively manage their lands.
- Strengthening Protections for Wildlife. Signed legislation
that strengthens protections for wildlife by mandating that the most
important use of our nation's wildlife refuges is giving refuge to migratory
birds and other animals reliant on this rich system of natural habitat.
Protecting our Oceans and Coasts
- Blocking Offshore Oil Drilling. Extended the moratorium on
new oil leasing off most of the U.S. coast through 2012, and permanently
barred new leasing in national marine sanctuaries.
- Creating Comprehensive Oceans Policy. Directed the development
of key recommendations for strengthening federal oceans policy for the
21st century and appointed a high-level task force to oversee the implementation
of those recommendations. Convened a National Ocean Conference in June
1998 that brought together government experts, business executives,
scientists, environmentalists, elected officials and the public to examine
opportunities and challenges in restoring and protecting our ocean resources.
- Strengthening Our National Marine Sanctuaries. Secured a funding
increase of over 100% to better support national marine sanctuaries
-- homes to coral reefs, kelp forests, humpback whales, and loggerhead
turtles. Supporting the five-year Sustainable Seas Expeditions to explore,
study and document ways to better protect underwater resources.
- Preserving Coral Reefs. Issued an Executive Order to expand
protection of coral reefs and their ecosystems to address issues of
coral reef management, expansion of marine protected areas and increased
protections for coral reef species.
- Protecting Marine Mammals. Led negotiations resulting in a
multilateral agreement to protect dolphins in the eastern tropical Pacific
Ocean. Issued new standards to protect the endangered northern right
whale from injuries from ships by instituting a first-ever ship reporting
requirement in two areas of right whale critical habitat. Fought for
creation of the Southern Ocean Whale Sanctuary, an area of more than
12 million square miles off the coast of Antarctica.
- Banning Ocean Dumping of Toxic Waste. Led the world in calling
for a global ban on ocean dumping of low-level radioactive waste. The
U.S. was the first nuclear power to advocate the ban.
Building Sustainable Communities
- Encouraging Smart Growth. Launched a nationwide Livable Communities
initiative -- spearheaded by Vice President Gore -- to help communities
across America grow in ways that ensure a high quality of life and strong,
sustainable economic growth. The initiative provides communities with
new tools and resources to preserve green space, ease traffic congestion,
and pursue regional "smart growth" strategies.
- Introduced 'Better America Bonds' to generate $10.75
billion in bond authority over five years to preserve open space,
improve water quality and clean up abandoned and contaminated properties
known as brownfields. Local communities can work together in partnerships
with land trust groups, environmentalists, business leaders and
others to develop innovative solutions to their communitys
- Won $8.2 billion in FY 2000, a 10 percent increase, for public
transit and other programs that reduce air pollution while easing
- Revitalizing Communities. Accelerated the cleanup of brownfields,
clearing the way for local redevelopment while protecting green areas
outside our cities. Leveraged over $1.6 billion in private sector investment
for brownfields redevelopment. Secured a tax incentive that allows businesses
to fully deduct certain brownfields cleanup costs in targeted areas
- American Heritage Rivers. Designated fourteen American Heritage
Rivers to recognize and reward outstanding community-based efforts to
restore and protect the environmental, economic, cultural and historic
values of our rivers. Appointed a 'river navigator' for each
designated river to help communities identify federal programs and resources
to help implement their restoration plans.
- Environmental Justice and Redevelopment. Issued an Executive
Order on Environmental Justice to ensure that low-income citizens and
minorities do not suffer a disproportionate burden of industrial pollution.
Launched pilot projects in low-income communities across the country
to redevelop contaminated sites into useable space, create jobs and
enhance community development.
Taking Action on Climate Change
- Forging International Agreement. Provided leadership critical
to successful negotiation of the Kyoto Protocol, which sets strong,
realistic targets for reducing greenhouse gas emissions and establishes
flexible, market-based mechanisms to achieve them as cost-effectively
- Investing in Clean Energy Research. Won more than $1 billion
in FY 1999 and in FY 2000 for the Climate Change Technology Initiative,
a program of clean energy research and development that will save energy
and consumers money. Extended the tax credits for wind and biomass energy
production through 2001, reducing emissions and reliance on imported
- Growing Clean Energy Technologies. Issued an Executive Order
to coordinate federal efforts to spur the development and use of bio-based
technologies, which can convert crops, trees and other 'biomass'
into a vast array of fuels and materials. Set a goal of tripling our
use of bioenergy and bioproducts by 2010 to reduce annual greenhouse
gas emissions by up to 100 million tons a year -- the equivalent of
taking 70 million cars off the road.
- Improving Scientific Understanding. Increased funding for the
United States Global Change Research Program to more than $1.7 billion
in FY 2000 to provide a sound scientific understanding of both the human
and natural forces that influence the Earth's climate system. This record
research budget continues strong support for the "Carbon Cycle
Initiative" begun last year to improve our understanding of the
role of farms, forests, and other natural or managed lands in capturing
- Energy Efficiency Standards for Appliances. Issued new energy
efficiency standards for refrigerators, refrigerator-freezers, freezers
and room air conditioners that will save consumers money and reduce
emissions of greenhouse gases and dependence on foreign oil. The new
standards will cut the average appliances energy usage by 30 percent
and save more than seven quadrillion BTUs of energy over the next 30
years, more than seven times the annual energy consumption of the entire
state of Arkansas.
- Promoting federal Energy Efficiency. Issued an Executive Order
directing federal agencies to reduce energy use in buildings 35 percent
by 2010, reducing annual greenhouse gas emissions by the equivalent
of taking 1.7 million cars off the road and saving taxpayers over $750
million a year. Forged new partnerships with industry to develop and
promote energy-saving cars, homes and consumer products with the potential
to save Americans hundreds of millions of dollars in energy bills and
significantly curb greenhouse gas pollution.
Protecting the Global Environment
- Phasing Out Persistent Pollutants. Leading global negotiations
to phase out 12 of the most dangerous, persistent organic pollutants
such as PCBs and DDT that threaten health and safety around the world.
- Healing the Ozone Layer. Successfully phased out CFCs (chloroflourocarbons)
by 1996 and other major ozone-depleting substances by 1994. Approved
the introduction of more than 300 alternatives to ozone-depleting substances.
Invested more than $300 million a year in research on atmospheric chemistry
and stratospheric ozone depletion. Strengthened international efforts
to protect the ozone layer through leading successful negotiations to
reduce Chinese production of halons and CFCs faster than required by
the Montreal Protocol and securing an accelerated international schedule
for the phase-out of methyl bromide, a leading ozone depleter.
- Promoting Environmentally Responsible Trade. Ensuring that
U.S. efforts to expand trade reflect a strong commitment to promoting
environmental protection worldwide. Signed an Executive Order requiring
careful assessment and written review of the potential environmental
impacts of major trade agreements so environmental considerations can
guide the development of U.S. positions in trade negotiations. Issued
a declaration of principles on trade and environment instructing negotiators
at the World Trade Organization negotiations to ensure that trade rules
continue to be supportive of environmental protections at home and abroad.
Greening the Government
- Expanding Recycling. Issued an Executive Order requiring federal
agencies to buy and use only recycled printing paper and increase efforts
to buy environmentally preferable products. The order harnesses the
federal government's $200 billion purchasing power to help create and
sustain markets for recycled materials. Americans recycle 22 million
tons more material than in 1992 -- thanks to that effort, the United
States will discard less waste in 2000 than in 1992.
- Greening of the White House. Employed energy-saving measures
and other environmentally-friendly steps at the White House complex,
reducing annual greenhouse gas emissions by 845 tons per year, significantly
reducing use of water and fertilizer, and saving taxpayers nearly $1.4
million since 1993.
Defending Our Environment Against Stealth Attacks
- Guarding Landmark Protections. Blocked attempts by Congress
to roll back landmark environmental laws like the Clean Water Act, the
Clean Air Act, and the Endangered Species Act. Thwarted congressional
actions to 'reform' the regulatory system by requiring taxpayers
to pay polluters not to pollute and weakening our nations food
- Blocking Special Interest Loopholes and Giveaways. Defeated
congressional efforts to attach dozens of anti-environmental riders
to budget bills. These riders would have rolled back hard-won environmental
safeguards and given special deals to special interests by: allowing
overcutting of our national forests and jeopardizing the Presidents
plan to protect more than 40 million acres of roadless areas; allowing
mining companies to dump more toxic waste on public lands and delaying
critical mining reforms; letting major oil companies continue paying
below-market royalties on oil developed on federal lands; crippling
critical protections for wetlands and wildlife; and attempting to block
common-sense actions to reduce greenhouse gas pollution.
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