For Immediate Release
Office of the Press Secretary
April 20, 2007
Fact Sheet: Earth Day 2007
A Record Of Results In Protecting Our Environment
President Bush Commemorates Earth Day 2007, Calls for Good Stewardship of Land and Oceans
In Focus: Environment
President Bush Is Pursuing Common-Sense Policies To Protect The Environment. By encouraging cooperative conservation, innovation, and new technologies, this Administration has compiled a strong environmental record. Because of the President's efforts, America's air is cleaner, our water is purer, our natural resources are better protected, and we are taking positive steps to confront the important challenge of climate change. For example:
- Since the President took office, the level of pollutants in our skies has decreased by more than 10 percent, and two of the five most health protective clean air rules in EPA's history the Clean Air Nonroad Diesel Rule and the Clean Air Interstate Rule were adopted.
- Millions more Americans today are drinking cleaner, safer water than before the President took office.
- Since 2001, we have removed hazardous fuels from more than 19 million acres of Federal land, restored, improved, or protected more than 2.5 million acres of wetlands, and conserved millions of acres of habitat through Farm Bill conservation programs.
- On Earth Day 2007, Administration Officials Will Participate In Events Across America To Highlight This Strong Commitment To A Healthy Environment. Federal agencies, including the Environmental Protection Agency, Department of the Interior, Department of Agriculture, and the State Department, will participate in events ranging from park cleanups and tree plantings to children's environmental education events.
The President Is Acting On His Commitment To Good Stewardship And Conservation Of Our Air, Water, And Land
In The State Of The Union Address, President Bush Announced His "Twenty In Ten" Plan To Reduce U.S. Gasoline Usage By 20 Percent In The Next Ten Years. This goal requires progress on two fronts: reforming fuel economy standards for cars to make our use of gasoline more efficient, and harnessing the power of technology to increase the use of alternative fuels. Reaching this goal will help address climate change concerns by reducing carbon dioxide emissions from cars, light trucks, and SUVs.
The President's FY 2008 Budget Includes The Highest Increase Ever In Parks Operations Funding And Requests The First Funding For The National Parks Centennial Initiative. The President's National Parks Centennial Initiative will enhance our parks leading up to their 100th anniversary by providing up to $3 billion in public and private investment over 10 years. The Initiative includes a Federal commitment of $100 million per year over 10 years for improvements to our parks. In addition, the President's Centennial Challenge urges individuals, foundations, and the private sector to help support the parks by contributing $100 million annually for 10 years. The President's FY 2008 Budget proposes matching these contributions.
The President's 2007 Farm Bill Proposal Includes $56 Billion Over 10 Years To Conserve And Protect Natural Resources. This funding would increase by over 50 percent the protected acreage under the Wetlands Reserve Program, create a Regional Water Enhancement Program, and sustain the Conservation Reserve Program.
On April 13, The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Proposed A New Clean Air Locomotive And Marine Diesel Rule To Set Stringent Emissions Standards For Locomotive And Marine Diesel Engines. This initiative would significantly reduce air pollution from these engines by cutting particulate matter by 90 percent and nitrogen oxides emissions by 80 percent.
Setting And Enforcing Tough Standards For Air Quality
The Administration Is Implementing New Clean Air Rules That Will Reduce Power-Plant Pollution By Approximately 70 Percent And Cut Pollution From Diesel Fuel Engines By More Than 90 Percent.
- Clean Air Interstate And Clean Air Mercury Rules: The President issued the Clean Air Interstate Rule (CAIR) and Clean Air Mercury Rule (CAMR) to require power plants in the eastern part of the United States to cut emissions of sulfur dioxide and mercury by nearly 70 percent and nitrogen oxides by nearly 60 percent from 2003 levels, producing significant improvements to air quality, human health, and natural resources.
- Clear Skies Initiative: Clear Skies builds on EPA's Clean Air Interstate and Clean Air Mercury Rule by requiring nationwide, permanent caps on emissions of sulfur dioxide, nitrogen oxides, and mercury. Clear Skies will ensure Americans continue to breathe cleaner air by dramatically reducing air pollution that moves across State lines.
- Clean Air Nonroad Diesel Rule: The new rule requires that soot and nitrogen oxide emissions be reduced by more than 90 percent and the sulfur content of diesel fuel be cut by 97 percent.
Preserving And Protecting Natural Resources Through Cooperative Conservation
The Administration Is Facilitating Cooperative Conservation To Protect The Environment Through Collaboration Between Government And Private Entities.
- Executive Order To Facilitate Cooperative Conservation: In 2004, President Bush signed Executive Order 13352 directing the Departments of Defense, Interior, Agriculture, and Commerce and the Environmental Protection Agency to implement laws relating to the environment and natural resources in a manner that promotes cooperative conservation with an emphasis on local inclusion.
- Wetlands Initiative: Since 2004, six Federal departments working with multiple states, communities, tribes, and private landowners have restored, improved, or protected more than 2.77 million acres of wetlands. We are ahead of schedule in reaching our goal of 3 million wetland acres by 2009.
- Conservation Tax Incentives: President Bush signed into law a provision that significantly expanded Federal tax incentives for conservation-related donations made in 2006 and 2007. The incentives promote voluntary land conservation and provide an economic benefit for family farmers and ranchers. The President's FY 2008 Budget proposes to make these tax incentives permanent.
We Are Expanding Conservation To Improve And Protect Our Public Lands.
- Record Funding For National Parks: The President's FY 2008 parks budget, totaling nearly $2.4 billion, is the largest ever for park operations and includes the highest increase ever in park operations funding. Since taking office, the President has amplified park operational spending by more than 40 percent ($584 million).
- National Wildlife Refuges: This Administration has expanded our parks and wildlife refuges, including establishing the Great Sand Dunes National Park and the Baca National Wildlife Refuge. The President's FY 2008 Budget includes $395 million for our National Wildlife Refuges, the largest amount ever.
The President Is Committed To Protecting Our Oceans Through Wise Stewardship And Sensible Management.
- Northwestern Hawaiian Islands Marine National Monument: President Bush created the Northwestern Hawaiian Islands Marine National Monument, enabling nearly 140,000 square miles of the Northwestern Hawaiian Islands to receive our Nation's highest form of marine environmental protection. This Marine National Monument is the largest single area dedicated to conservation in the history of our country and the largest protected marine area in the world.
- Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation And Management Reauthorization Act Of 2006: By signing this bill, the President reaffirmed our commitment to protect America's fisheries and keep our commercial and recreational fishing communities strong. This Act will end over-fishing, help us replenish fish stocks, and advance international cooperation and ocean stewardship.
Ensuring Public Health And Energy Security With Cleaner Fuels, Improved Efficiency, And New Technologies
The President Has An Aggressive Agenda To Strengthen America's Energy Security And Improve The Environment. His policies seek to reduce carbon monoxide and cancer-causing benzene emissions and can lead to a reduction in carbon dioxide emissions from cars, light trucks, and SUVs.
- Advanced Energy Initiative (AEI): In his 2006 State of the Union Address, President Bush proposed a 22 percent increase in funding for 2007 for clean energy technology research to change how we power our homes, businesses, and cars. The FY 2008 Budget includes $2.7 billion for the AEI, an increase of 26 percent above the 2007 Budget.
- Energy Policy Act: Signed by the President in August 2005, the Energy Policy Act, combined with existing legislation, provides $5 billion over five years in tax incentives to encourage investments in energy efficiency and alternative renewable energy sources. It also establishes numerous mandates that will improve our energy efficiency.
- Low Carbon, Clean Coal Technologies: $1 billion in tax credits were awarded last year, with another $650 million more this year, to help offset nearly $10 billion in total investment to build highly efficient, advanced coal projects, using technology that cuts emissions through efficiency and holds the promise of cost-effective carbon capture and storage.
Providing A Realistic, Growth-Oriented Approach To Climate Change
The Administration's Climate Change Policy Is Science-Based, Encourages Research Breakthroughs, And Takes Advantage Of The Power Of Markets To Bring Technologies Into Widespread Use. President Bush has committed to reducing U.S. greenhouse gas intensity 18 percent by 2012, and we are well on track to meet this goal. According to the Energy Information Agency, U.S. greenhouse gas emissions increased only 0.6 percent between 2004 and 2005 (compared to an average annual 1 percent increase over the 1990-2005 period), and greenhouse gas intensity decreased 2.5 percent.
- Record Funding For Climate-Related Science, Technology, And Incentive Programs: Since 2001, the President has requested and Congress has appropriated on the order of $35 billion for climate-related science, technology, observations, international assistance, and incentive programs. Between 2003 and 2006, the President committed nearly $3 billion annually more than any other country in the world to climate change technology research and deployment programs.
- Broad Range Of Domestic Programs: The President launched a comprehensive portfolio of domestic initiatives to develop new technologies through dozens of voluntary, incentive-based, and mandatory programs, including Climate VISION and Climate Leaders, SmartWay Transportation Program, and the Hydrogen Fuel Initiative.
- International Leadership: The U.S. is leading the global effort to promote clean development, enhance energy security, and reduce harmful air pollution worldwide. Since June 2001, the United States has launched bilateral partnerships with 20 nations and the European Union on issues ranging from climate change science to energy and sequestration technologies.
- Asia-Pacific Partnership On Clean Development And Climate (APP): The United States joined Australia, China, India, Japan, and South Korea to advance the President's goal of developing and deploying cleaner and more efficient technologies. APP has initiated nearly 100 programs and actions to substantially increase investment in promotion of energy security, reducing air pollution, and confronting climate change in ways that foster economic growth and poverty reduction.
# # #