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Office of the Press Secretary

For Immediate Release October 2, 2000


Today, Congress passed a deeply flawed Energy/Water appropriations bill that threatens major environmental harm by blocking our efforts to modernize operations on the Missouri River. An anti-environmental rider attached to the bill would not only jeopardize the survival of three threatened and endangered species, but would also establish a dangerous precedent aimed at barring a federal agency from obeying one of our nation's landmark environmental statutes. Accordingly, I will veto this bill when it reaches my desk.

While this bill funds scores of special projects for special interests, it fails to provide sufficient funding for priorities in the national interest -- including environmental restoration of the Florida Everglades and the California Bay-Delta, and our strategy to restore endangered salmon in the Pacific Northwest. It also fails to fund efforts to research and develop non-polluting sources of energy through solar and renewable technologies that are vital to America's energy security.

I urge Congress to resolve these issues in an environmentally sound manner and to quickly produce an Energy/Water bill I can sign. While we are now in the first week of the new fiscal year, Congress still has sent me only two of the 13 appropriations bills. Congress should complete its work without delay.