George Bush Sr. on Environment
President of the U.S., 1989-1993; Former Republican Rep. (TX)
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 When Hurricane Katrina ravaged the Gulf Coast, President George W. Bush asked his father and me to help raise private funds to supplement the government's efforts.
The Bush-Clinton Katrina Fund also helped create a new City Year branch 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.
There was not that much money to be made that way, however, and George was impatient. So in 1953 he started Zapata Petroleum Corp. This new outfit would purchase actual leases in the hopes of finding oil. A total of $850,000, nearly half of it from Uncle Herbie, went to secure and drill on 8,000 acres. A year later they had sunk 71 wells, and not a single one had come up dry. Zapata, and George, had struck it rich, and there was no turning back.
Bush lore invests much in this tale. Yes, there was basic, hard, grunt work involved in researching the land, in studying geological surveys, lining up financing, and so on. But in the end, the success of the venture was a matter of good fortune.
When he arrived at the White House, Bush staked out aggressive policies in a number of environmental areas, including phasing out chlorofluorocarbons by the end of the century, protecting and developing clean air, and promoting a stable plan to initiate rapid reforestation of America's forest preserves. Bush appeared to champion environmental causes for the causes themselves, whereas previous Republican administrations appeared to have occasionally favored cost-benefit analysis.
Bush achieved some noted environmental successes by amending the Clean Air Act with the Pollution Prevention Act of 1990 and the Oil Pollution Acts.
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 past presidents on Environment:||George Bush Sr. on other issues:|
George W. Bush(R,2001-2009)
George Bush Sr.(R,1989-1993)
John F. Kennedy(D,1961-1963)
Past Vice Presidents:
Natural Law Party