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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 Forest Plan.
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 California's Pinnacles National Monument, created by President Roosevelt in 1908, to preserve the monument's unique geologic resources.
Safegaurding Ancient Sequoias. Expanded California's Pinnacles National Monument, created by President Roosevelt in 1908, to preserve the monument's 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 National Park.
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 species.
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
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.
Issued new rules to restore natural quiet to the Grand Canyon by creating
new and modified air tour routes over and around the Grand Canyon and require
aircraft to increase their maximum flight elevation (altitude) from 14,499
feet to 17,999 feet. These rules will allow continued access to all, while
also helping to restore the natural quiet of this timeless treasure.
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 by polluters.
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 problems.
Expanded Safe Drinking Water Act protections to protect 40 million additional
Americans in small communities from potentially dangerous microbes, including
Cryptosporidium, in their drinking water.
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
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
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
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
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
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 development challenges.
Won $8.2 billion in FY 2000, a 10 percent increase, for public transit
and other programs that reduce air pollution while easing traffic congestion.
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 through 2001.
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
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 as possible.
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 oil.
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 carbon.
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
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
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 safety laws.
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.