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"
January 11, 2000
Protecting America's 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 America's 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
Creating New National Monuments.
Protecting Utah's 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. Created Giant Sequoia National
Monument, which will protect 34 groves of ancient sequoias and the rich
forests that support them.
Defending the World's 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 America-s 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 California's 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 state-s 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.
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 EPA's 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 nation-s worst water quality and dependability
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 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
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
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
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 community-s development
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 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 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 as
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
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 appliance-s 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 nation-s 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 President's
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.