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Conserving and Protecting the Environment

“Our duty is to use the land well, and sometimes, not to use it at all. This is our responsibility as citizens; but, more than that, it is our calling as stewards of the Earth. Good stewardship of the environment is not just a personal responsibility, it is a public value. Americans are united in the belief that we must preserve our natural heritage and safeguard the land around us.”

– President George W. Bush, May 30, 2001

The Accomplishments

Improving our Environment

  • Our air is cleaner, our drinking water is purer, and our land is better protected and cared for than it was four years ago.

Improving Air Quality  

  • President Bush proposed the Clear Skies Initiative, an effort to aggressively reduce air pollution from power plants by 70 percent and improve air quality throughout the country .
  • The President proposed requiring the steepest emissions cuts in over a decade for coal-burning power plants . The Clean Air Interstate Rule, modeled after the Clear Skies Initiative, will require power plants to substantially reduce emissions of sulfur dioxide and nitrogen oxide. Sulfur dioxide emissions will be cut by nearly 70 percent and nitrogen oxide emissions will be cut by approximately 50 percent.
  • President Bush proposed the Clean Air Mercury Rule that will regulate mercury emissions from power plants for the first time , imposing a mandatory 70 percent cut by 2018.
  • The Clean Air Nonroad Diesel Rule requires that emission levels from construction, agricultural, and industrial diesel-powered equipment be dramatically cut . This new rule requires that soot and nitrogen oxide emission be reduced by more than 90 percent and the sulfur content of diesel fuel be cut by 99 percent.
  • President Bush is committed to reducing greenhouse gas emissions by 18 percent over the next 10 years .

Promoting Healthy Forests

  • The Healthy Forests Initiative is helping to prevent catastrophic fires by managing forests with controlled burns, cleaning out the underbrush, and thinning the areas that are vulnerable to intense fires and insect attacks. Controlling forest fires will help save the lives of firefighters, save communities, and protect threatened and endangered species.

Restoring and Protecting our Nation's Lands

  • In January 2002, President Bush signed historic legislation that will accelerate the cleanup and redevelopment of contaminated, underutilized industrial sites known as brownfields. More than 1,000 brownfields already have been restored – which is more than were restored in the previous seven years.
  • The President announced an aggressive new national goal to create, improve, and protect at least three million wetland acres over the next five years.
  • President Bush signed into law a farm bill providing nearly $40 billion over a decade to restore millions of acres of wetlands, protect habitats, conserve water, and improve streams and rivers near working farms and ranches.

Improving our National Parks

  • To meet his commitment to improving park maintenance and construction , the President proposed spending almost $5 billion over five years. The FY 2005 request is a 37 percent increase over FY 2001.
  • President Bush supports a $7.8 billion Comprehensive Everglades Restoration Plan that will restore millions of acres in the Everglades and ensure that South Florida has a reliable supply of fresh water.

Making our Nation's Energy Supply Clean and Secure

  • President Bush proposed $1.7 billion in research funding to develop clean, hydrogen-powered automobiles and infrastructure technologies.
  • The Bush Administration supports increasing automobile fuel economy and encouraging new technologies that reduce our dependence on imported oil. For the first time in a decade, the Administration raised Corporate Average Fuel Economy (CAFE) standards for SUVs, vans, and light pick-up trucks .
  • The President has proposed tax incentives for the purchase of fuel-efficient hybrid vehicles .
  • The President has proposed $4.1 billion in tax incentives to spur the use of clean and renewable energy , and energy-efficient technologies .

Improving the Conservation of Oceans and the Quality of Water

  • The President proposed $21 million for the Water 2025 Initiative to help states, tribes, and local communities in the West improve conservation and better monitor local resources .


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