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For Immediate Release
Office of the Press Secretary
February 27, 2003

Statement by the President

In my State of the Union address, I urged Congress to enact my aggressive and innovative plan to cut air pollution, the Clear Skies initiative. Clear Skies will cut power plant emissions by 70 percent -- much further, faster, more cost-effectively and with more certainty than current law.

Today, with the reintroduction of my legislation, Clear Skies takes an important step towards delivering health and environmental benefits to Americans. I am pleased that Chairman Tauzin and Chairman Barton have introduced Clear Skies in the House and Chairman Inhofe and Chairman Voinovich have introduced it in the Senate.

In the last 30 years, America has dramatically improved air quality. Clear Skies is the next step in this positive trend towards bringing cleaner air and better health to more of our citizens. We have learned a lot about what approaches work best, and now is the time to put those lessons to use.

Clear Skies builds on the proven success of our most effective clean air program -- the acid rain reduction program, which significantly reduced acid rain in the Northeast. Clear Skies expands this program so that in the next decade alone, we will remove 35 million more tons of pollution from the air than would the current Clean Air Act. This will also help protect our forests, lakes, streams and coastal waters from acid rain, nitrogen and mercury degradation. And Clear Skies will do this through the use of a market-based system that guarantees results while keeping electricity prices affordable for Americans.

I thank Chairmen Tauzin, Inhofe, Barton and Voinovich for their leadership on this important environmental initiative. Clear Skies represents cost-effective pollution reductions that make sense for the environment and the economy. Administrator Whitman and I look forward to working with Congress to deliver the benefits promised by passage of Clear Skies legislation.


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