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THE WHITE HOUSE

Office of the Press Secretary


For Immediate Release April 6, 1998

STATEMENT BY THE PRESIDENT

Earlier today, with regret, I accepted Secretary of Energy Federico Pena's resignation.

Secretary Pena has admirably served my Administration, first as Secretary of Transportation and then as Secretary of Energy. It is a measure of my confidence in his abilities that I entrusted him to run not one, but two cabinet agencies.

In his last year he diligently managed the Energy Department, focusing on energy, environmental quality, national security and science and technology issues. Just last week, Secretary Pena unveiled our Comprehensive Electricity Competition Plan, saving consumers $20 billion per year, by introducing competition into the electricity industry. Under his leadership, the Department of Energy provided much of the analysis that gave me the confidence that we can reduce greenhouse gas emissions without harming the economy.

In the last year, he helped shape our policy in the Caspian region, building a coalition among the key nations in that region; he provided a comprehensive national energy strategy for the nation that will help ensure that Americans have affordable, clean and secure energy supplies in the 21st century; and he privatized Elk Hills Naval Petroleum Reserve, generating $3.65 billion for U.S. taxpayers.

During his four years at the Transportation Department, Secretary Pena increased the level of competitiveness of America's transportation industry with more investments in mass transit than at any time since Woodrow Wilson was President. Secretary Pena helped to improve travel safety, signed aviation agreements with 40 nations, opened lucrative markets for American airlines and oversaw a 25 percent increase in infrastructure investments.

I wish Secretary Pena, his wife Ellen and their three children the best for the future. I thank him for his invaluable service as a member of my cabinet.

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