Bill Clinton on Environment
President of the U.S., 1993-2001; Former Democratic Governor (AR)
The president's energy strategy, which he calls all-of-the-above, is helping, too. The boom in oil and gas production, combined with greater energy efficiency, has driven oil imports to a near 20-year low and natural gas production to an all-time high. And renewable energy production has doubled.
To comply with the new rule, small towns in western states, where arsenic naturally occurs, would be forced to spend hundreds of millions of dollars on new water plants. The liberal Brookings Institution and the conservative American Enterprise Institute produced a joint study showing that rather than saving lives, the new standard would actually cost about 10 lives annually [due to loss of medical service funding].
The Bush-Clinton Katrina Fund also helped create a new City Year bran New Orleans to provide young people with a way to help the city rebuild.
In the lower Ninth Ward, which was virtually wiped out by Katrina, volunteers turned the first new homes over to residents. The project was organized by ACORN (A Community Organizations for Reform Now), which also provided the financing with support from a California bank. ACORN works to empower low- and moderate-income people through the grassroots activism of more than 200,000 members in one hundred communities all over America.
We tried to raise the overall level of America and put together a relatively small fund of about $1.4 million, out of which we financed the reconstruction of schools, health facilities, fishing boats, and other economic restoration efforts, and scholarships for students from Indonesia, by far the hardest-hit area, to study at Texas A&M and the University of Arkansas.
George and I got so excited by our tsunami work that we both wound up working on disasters two more years for U.N. secretary general Kofi Annan. I became the U.N. envoy for the tsunami restoration efforts; George did the same thing in Pakistan after the earthquake there.
“I could sign the bill into law and have a good road program paid for in an unfair way, or veto it and have no road program at all. I signed the bill. It was the single dumbest mistake I ever made in politics until 1994 when I agreed to ask for a special prosecutor in the Whitewater case,” said Bill.
Status: Over 200 criminal environmental cases were referred in FY94. Criminal charges were brought against 250 individual and corporate defendants with 99 years in jail sentences and $36.8 million in criminal fines assessed that year. In fall of 1995, the EPA was forced to raise the standards of cases that it will prosecute to "significant and egregious cases" because of scarce resources.
Status: The White House introduced the Wetlands Plan to preserve the nation's wetlands. Over $1.5 billion were committed to help restore the Florida Everglades. Clinton fought a wetlands reform bill that would have reduced the amount of land under federal enforcement by 75% and created exemptions for special interests and activities. Further, the bill would hinder state wetland conservation efforts. To date the bill has been stalled in the Senate.
If the nation is to realize the full potential of President Reagan's vision, we must create a forward-looking oceans policy that recognizes our many and complicated interests. Our National Oceans Policy must ensure that we retain robust scientific research capabilities, both in government and in universities. An appropriate oceans policy will replace the current bewilderingly fragmented patchwork of laws and regulations that prevents American firms from fully utilizing the ocean's vast potential.
I have never believed we had to choose between either a clean and safe environment or a growing economy. Protecting the health and safety of all Americans doesn’t have to come at the expense of our economy’s bottom line. And creating thriving companies and new jobs doesn’t have to come at the expense of the air we breathe, the water we drink, the food we eat, or the natural landscape in which we live. We can, and indeed must, have both.
CLINTON: Let's talk about fuel efficiency standards. They are now 27.5 miles per gallon per automobile fleet. We ought to have a goal of raising the fuel efficiency standards to 40 miles a gallon. We ought to have incentives to do it. It is good for America to improve fuel efficiency. We also ought to convert more vehicles to compressed natural gas. That's another way to improve the environment.
|Other candidates on Environment:||Bill Clinton on other issues:|
2016 Presidential Candidates:
2016 Withdrawn Democratic Candidates:
2016 Withdrawn GOP Candidates:
About Bill Clinton: