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
- 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
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
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
- 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
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
$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
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
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
- 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
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
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