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Office of the Press Secretary

For Immediate Release April 4, 1993

WASHINGTON, April 4 /U.S. Newswire/ -- Following is a fact sheet on the energy and environment component of the U.S. assistance package for Russia announced at the summit in Vancouver:

Energy and Environment Initiative

Purpose: This initiative will assist in the transformation of the Russian energy economy into a market-oriented, end-use efficient, and environmentally protected system. Reform of the energy sector is essential to the viability of the overall reform program, particularly enterprise restructuring and the overall macroeconomic balance. Structural reform of this sector should help remove some of the worst environmental excesses, by eliminating obsolescent production techniques and encouraging energy efficiency.

Program: This initiative represents a balanced approach targeted on several critical leverage points:

Gas/Oil/Coal Production and Delivery System Improvement: U.S. assistance will promote efficient use of gas and oil. Reform in these areas will increase hard currency exports and, in the long run, provide alternative fuel sources needed to decommission unsafe nuclear reactors. In addition, our programs will promote coal mine safety, productivity, and cleaner coal technologies. Funding will include engineering and financial analyses to help catalyze and accelerate substantial World Bank and EBRD loans to revamp production, transmissions, and distribution systems. ($10 million)

Efficiency and Performance Improvement: This program will focus on improving energy efficiency in electric power, refineries, industries, and residential buildings. Funding also will support the Moscow Energy Efficiency Center which provides information on technology available from U.S. companies as well as training. ($2 million)

Pricing, Policy and Institutional Reform: Market-driven approaches for energy supply and demand balance in Russia will be introduced. The program will focus on privatizing energy supply entities, supporting reform of the price and tariff structure, and improving institutions to raise efficiency standards and introduce a regulatory framework. ($5 million)

Nuclear Power Plant Safety and Regulation: The U.S. will fund short-term operational safety improvements, risk reduction measures, and regulatory assistance for nuclear power plants. ($15 million)

Environmental Policy and Technology Cooperation: This program will assist in the development of clearer national environmental policies and programs. The U.S. will implement high-impact demonstration projects to reduce severe pollution problems, including minimizing use of ozone-depleting substances. The first activity will focus on air pollution control in the Volgograd region. ($5 million)

Environmental Non-Governmental-Organization Consortium: The U.S. will mobilize a consortium of public and private sector actors to strengthen collaboration between American and Russian NGOs. The consortium will finance joint U.S.-Russian NGO projects that promote community environmental quality initiative, resource conservation, public awareness, and training. ($1 million)

Total Energy and Environment Initiative: $38 million in 1993.

/U.S. Newswire 202-347-2770/