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 Home > News & Policies > July 2004

Fact Sheet: Key Bush Environmental Accomplishments

The Bush Administration's Environmental Philosophy

  • The focus is on results - making our air, water, and land cleaner.
  • We need to employ the best science and data to inform our decision-making.
  • Our policies should encourage innovation and the development of new, cleaner technologies.
  • We should continue to build on America's ethic of stewardship and personal responsibility through education and volunteer opportunities, and in our daily lives.
  • Opportunities for environmental improvements are not limited to Federal Government actions - States, tribes, local communities, and individuals must be included.

Building on Our Great Environmental Progress

  • Over the last 30 years, our Nation has made great progress in providing for a better environment and improving public health. In that time, our economy grew 164 percent, population grew 39 percent, and our energy consumption increased 42 percent, yet air pollution from the six major pollutants decreased by 48 percent. In 2002, state data reported to EPA showed that approximately 251 million people (or 94 percent of the total population) were served by community water systems that met all health-based standards. This number is up from 79 percent in 1993.

    The President is committed to delivering even greater progress.

Cleaning and Redeveloping Hazardous Waste Sites

  • Brownfields Program

    Fulfilling a commitment he made when he ran for President, President Bush signed historic bipartisan brownfields legislation in 2002, accelerating the cleanup of brownfields to better protect public health, create jobs, and revitalize communities.

Land Conservation and Stewardship

  • Healthy Forests Initiative

    On December 3, 2003, President Bush signed legislation implementing key provisions of his Healthy Forests Initiative. The President's initiative is helping restore the health and vitality of forests and rangelands, and helping reduce the threat of catastrophic wildfires. This is benefiting communities and wildlife habitats.


  • National Parks - Restoring the Quality of Our Cultural, Natural, and Historic Resources

    The President is fulfilling his commitment to address the park maintenance backlog. To meet his commitment of $4.9 billion over five years for park maintenance and construction, the President has secured $ 2.8 billion, and proposed $ 1.1 billion in his FY 2005 budget, for a total of $3.9 billion to date. Additionally, for the first time in history, the National Park Service will have a full condition assessment and a facility condition index to prioritize ongoing maintenance needs.


  • 2002 Farm Bill: Helping America's Farmers Conserve Their Lands

    President Bush supported and signed into law a Farm Bill that enhances conservation and environmental stewardship. Under this Administration, funding has nearly doubled for these effective programs. The Farm Bill conservation programs are providing more than $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.


  • Increased Funding for Cooperative Conservation

    The President's FY 2005 budget proposes $507 million for cooperative conservation programs at the Department of the Interior. Within that request is $130 million for the Cooperative Conservation Initiative (CCI), a 25 percent increase over last year. Through CCI activities, the Department of the Interior's land managers are joining with communities, non-profits, States, and citizens to remove invasive species, reduce stream bank erosion, and enhance habitat for threatened and endangered species.

Improving Our Air Quality

  • Clear Skies Initiative

    President Bush's initiative, which has been introduced in Congress, would dramatically improve air quality by reducing power plants' emissions of sulfur dioxide, nitrogen oxide, and mercury, by approximately 70 percent over the next 15 years, more than any other clean air initiative. This historic proposal will bring cleaner air to Americans faster, more reliably, and more cost-effectively than under current law.


  • Clean Air Interstate Rule

    The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) announced a proposal to require coal-burning power plants to make the steepest emissions cuts in over a decade. The Clean Air Interstate Rule will require power plants to substantially reduce emissions of sulfur dioxide (SO2) and nitrogen oxide (NOx). SO2 emissions will be cut by nearly 70 percent and NOx emissions will be cut by approximately 50 percent.


  • Mandating a Cut in Mercury Emissions for the First Time Ever

    Mercury emissions from power plants are not currently regulated. For the first time ever, the Bush Administration will impose a mandatory 70 percent cut in mercury emissions from those sources by 2018. These cuts will be achieved by using either a proven market-based, cap-and-trade approach that will better assure compliance and enforceability, or a more traditional command-and-control approach utilizing Maximum Achievable Control Technology (MACT). Both proposals are currently receiving public comment.


  • Reduction in Emissions from Non-Road Heavy-Duty Diesels

    In May 2004, the Bush Administration finalized a rule that will dramatically reduce pollution from heavy-duty diesel engines used in construction, agricultural, and industrial equipment. This will prevent up to 12,000 premature deaths, 8,900 hospitalizations, 15,000 heart attacks, 6,000 children's asthma-related emergency room visits, 280,000 respiratory problems in children, and a million work days lost due to illness once the rule is fully implemented. Soot and NOx emissions will decrease by more than 90 percent by 2014, and the sulfur content of diesel fuel will be cut 99 percent by 2010.


  • Fuel Savings From Light Trucks

    For the first time in a decade, the Administration raised Corporate Average Fuel Economy (CAFE) standards for SUVs, vans and pick-up trucks. Reforms are also underway that will save more fuel while protecting consumer safety and American jobs.

A Realistic, Growth-Oriented Approach to Global Climate Change: A Synopsis

  • 18 Percent Cut in Greenhouse Gas Intensity
    President Bush has committed America to meeting the challenge of long-term global climate change by reducing the ratio of greenhouse gas emissions to economic output by 18 percent by 2012 compared to 2002. Greenhouse gas intensity is the ratio of greenhouse gas emissions to economic output.
  • $4.1 Billion in Tax Incentives for Renewable Energy and Hybrid and Fuel-Cell Vehicles
    The President has called for tax incentives totaling $4.1 billion through 2009 to spur the use of clean, renewable energy, and energy-efficient technologies, such as hybrid and fuel-cell vehicles, residential solar heating systems, renewable energy produced from landfill gas, wind, or biomass, and efficient combined heat and power systems.
  • A 42 Percent Increase in Climate Change Research Funding
    The President's FY 2005 budget includes $238 million for the Climate Change Research Initiative (CCRI), a $70 million, or 42 percent, increase over 2004. This funding level includes $57 million to accelerate efforts to advance understanding of the role of aerosols on climate, better quantify carbon sources, and improve the technology and infrastructure used to observe and model climate variations. The CCRI focuses on reducing significant uncertainties in climate science, improving global climate observing systems, and developing resources to support policymaking and resource management.
  • Federal Energy and Carbon Sequestration Programs
    The United States is sponsoring, with international and private-sector partners, a $1 billion, 10-year demonstration project to create the world's first coal-based, zero-emissions electricity and hydrogen power plant (FutureGen). This project is designed to dramatically reduce air pollution and capture and store greenhouse gases. Through the President's Hydrogen Fuel Initiative, the first car driven by a child born today could be powered by pollution-free fuel cells. The Hydrogen Fuel Initiative and the FreedomCAR Partnership will provide $1.7 billion over the next five years to develop hydrogen-powered fuel cells, a hydrogen infrastructure, and advanced automobile technologies that emit no greenhouse gases.
  • Climate VISION Partnership
    In February 2003, President Bush announced that leading firms from 12 major industrial sectors and the membership of the Business Roundtable have committed to work with four Cabinet agencies (DOE, EPA, DOT, and USDA) to reduce greenhouse gas emissions in the next decade. Participating industries included America's electric utilities; petroleum refiners and natural gas producers; automobile, iron and steel, chemical and magnesium manufacturers; forest and paper producers; railroads; and the cement, mining, aluminum, and semiconductor industries.
  • President's Initiative Against Illegal Logging
    In July 2003, Secretary of State Powell launched the President's Initiative Against Illegal Logging to assist developing nations in combating illegal logging, including the sale and export of illegally harvested timber, and in fighting corruption in the forest sector. The initiative represents the most comprehensive strategy undertaken by any nation to address this critical sustainable development challenge, and reinforces the leadership role of the U.S. in taking action to counter the problem and preserve forest resources that store carbon.

Our Oceans - Improved Ocean Conservation in the National Park System 2002-2003

  • Restoration of Marine Ecosystems
    In close cooperation with the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration and State and local governments, the National Park Service has begun restoring marine ecosystems. New management practices, networks of marine reserves, and natural area research have been established to restore coral reefs, kelp forests, and their diverse communities of marine life.

Improving The Quality of Our Waters and Wetlands, and Resolving Water Crises

  • New Strategy For Increasing Wetlands Acres and Quality
    On Earth Day 2004, the President announced an aggressive new national goal - moving beyond a policy of "no net loss" of wetlands to have an overall increase of wetlands in America each year. The President's goal is to create, improve, and protect at least three million wetland acres over the next five years in order to increase overall wetland acres and quality. To meet this goal, the President calls on Congress to pass his FY 2005 budget request, which includes $4.4 billion for conservation programs that include funding for wetlands - an increase of $1.5 billion (53 percent) over FY 2001. The FY 2005 budget proposes to spend $349 million on our two key wetlands programs - the Wetlands Reserve Program and the North American Wetlands Conservation Act Grants Program - which is an increase of more than 50 percent over FY 2001 for those two programs. New figures released in April 2004 by the U.S. Department of Agriculture show that, for the first time in history, America has reversed the annual net loss of wetl
  • Substantially Increased Funding for the Great Lakes
    More than one-tenth of the population of the United States and one-quarter of the population of Canada live around the Great Lakes. The Great Lakes themselves are the largest system of fresh surface water on Earth, containing roughly 18 percent of the world supply. The President's FY 2005 budget includes an unprecedented $45 million for the Great Lakes Legacy Program, almost five times the 2004 level of funding. These additional funds will allow EPA, in conjunction with its community partners, to begin remediating contaminated sediments at six sites. Sediment remediation will help keep toxics such as polychlorinated biphenyls and heavy metals from entering the food chain, where they could cause adverse effects on human health and the environment.
  • Water 2025
    The President's FY 2005 budget includes $21 million, an increase of $13.3 million, for Water 2025, a program that strategically addresses the problem of competing demands for a finite water supply. Water 2025 will help States, tribes, and local communities improve conservation, implement efficiencies, and monitor water resources. In some cases, collaborative approaches and market-based transfers can use water banks or other means to meet emerging needs. Federal investments in research and development will provide more affordable water treatment technologies, such as desalination, to increase water supplies in critical areas.